Maternal and Child Health (MACH)

Maternal and Child Health clinics will have limited services available between 25th December and 3rd January

The Early Pregnancy and Parenting Support Line will be available on 24th, 30th and 31st December and MACH services will resume from 4th January 2021.

Please call 5124 1775 and follow the prompts to leave a voice message and a health professional will return your call.

This is not an emergency service and we are not able to return calls on Public Holidays.

A Maternal and Child Health nurse or a Midwife can discuss concerns relating to:

  • early pregnancy or your early maternity care     
  • breastfeeding and feeding
  • you or your baby after you get home from hospital
  • sleep, settling and parenting
  • emotional wellbeing - for those who are pregnant, partnered to a pregnant person or parenting young children
  • arranging a brief consultation appointment with a MACH nurse

To book developmental checks and / or early childhood immunisations please call the Central Health Intake (CHI) on 5124 9977.

For parenting and child health advice on Public Holidays contact:
Pregnancy Birth & Baby on 1800 882 436 or Healthdirect on 1800 022 222.

If you are worried about your child’s health or your pregnancy, please go to the nearest hospital or in case of an emergency call 000.

Due to the COVID-19 response, we need to keep making changes to the way we deliver Women, Youth and Children health services to keep our women and babies safe. We encourage you to regularly check our Temporary changes page for the latest advice.

An early pregnancy and parenting support phone line has been established to support women with early pregnancy, maternal and child health, breastfeeding and emotional wellbeing concerns. You can call 5124 1775 from Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 5pm. Please leave a voicemail with your name, best contact number and reason for your call and a health professional will return your call.

For the latest information, please read the COVID-19 advice for pregnant women fact sheet.

The Maternal and Child Health (MACH) nurses support new parents with information and health advice. Our nurses are Registered Nurses and hold additional qualifications in maternal, child and family health.

To use our services or make a booking, please call the Central Health Intake (CHI) team on 02 5124 9977 between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday and 8:00 am or 3:30 pm on Wednesdays. This excludes public holidays.

Our services are free to Medicare and Asylum Seeker card holders.

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First home visits

We offer home visits to all families with newborns with a referral from their midwife. This first visit is an chance to discuss the wellbeing and any health issues of you and your baby. It can also provide you with information about local services for parents.

Please contact the CHI team for more information.

Booked clinic appointments

You can visit the MACH nurses for information and advice on parenting, child health, breastfeeding, nutrition and feeding issues, keeping your child safe, toddler behaviour issues, adjustment to parenthood and maternal emotional health.

You can also make an appointment for your Child’s Health Check.

Please make an appointment through the CHI team.

MACH Clinic locations

Drop-in clinics

Drop-in clinics are available for brief visits between booked appointments. These clinics are best suited for quick questions and updates, not comprehensive health checks. Self-weigh facilities are also available at most clinics.

You don’t need to make an appointment for these clinics and most visits are kept to a maximum of 15 to 20 minutes per client.

New Parents Group

New parent groups are currently being held online until further notice.

This group is available to parents of infants under 4 months.

Please book well ahead of time through the CHI team.

Breastfeeding, feeding and settling (Early Days and Sleep Groups)

We offer several groups to help you improve sleep and settling for your baby.

Online Early Days Group

Early Days are group sessions that provide information and support for breastfeeding, bottle feeding and settling infants under 4 months.

Partners, support people of babies less than 4 months of age are welcome to attend an online Early Days Group information and advice session. To book into a session visit Eventbrite. The group will be via Webex, and you will be sent the link before the session.

We also offer face to face booked consultations for breastfeeding support in the child health clinic, at home or via Telehealth. To book an appointment call the Early Pregnancy and Parenting support line on 02 5124 1775. For other appointments please call Central Health Intake on 02 5124 9977 from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and 8am to 3:30pm on Wednesdays.

You can also speak to your GP about any questions or concerns you may have about breastfeeding.

Sleep and settling information sessions

Sleep and settling groups provide information about how to get your baby to settle and sleep better. We hold 3 age specific sessions for:

  • 3 to 8 months
  • 9 to 18 months
  • 19 months and 3 years

Please book an appointment through the CHI team and bring any equipment you may need to care for your baby to the appointment.

Please do not bring children or toddlers to the session as they can interrupt group learning and communication.

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding support is available from various services within Canberra Health Services and the ACT community. 

Telephone breastfeeding support for families

There are many support services available over the phone to give you information and advice about breastfeeding:

  • Early Pregnancy and Parenting Support line

    The Early Pregnancy and Parenting Support phone line has been established to support families with early pregnancy, child health and development, breastfeeding and maternal emotional wellbeing concerns.

    Call 5124 1775 anytime and leave a voicemail with your name, best contact number and reason for your call and a health professional will return your call.
     
  • Australian Breastfeeding Association

    The Australian Breastfeeding Association runs the National Breastfeeding Helpline 1800 mum to mum (1800 686 268) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    This service is staffed by trained volunteer counsellors who answer calls on a roster system in their own home.
     
  • Pregnancy, Birth and Baby (operated by HealthDirect Australia)

    Supporting parents on the journey from pregnancy to preschool.

    Speak to a Maternal and Child Health Nurse for personal advice and guidance on pregnancy, birth, being a parent and raising a child.

    1800 882 436 

    Available 7am to midnight, 7 days a week (including public holidays)
     
  • Mothersafe

    For support and information with medications while breastfeeding call 1800 647 848.

    For more information visit our Breastfeeding webpage or refer to your maternity record or your baby’s ACT Personal Health Record (blue book) for more information on what other supports are available to you.
Crying

When a baby starts to cry, and you feel your emotions rise, it’s time to take a break. Try using calming exercises or put your baby down, close your eyes and take long, deep breaths.

Keep your baby monitor close and check in on your baby with a quick visit evert 10 to 15 minutes or until you feel calm enough to pick them up.

If this doesn’t work, reach out and call someone you feel comfortable talking to.

You can also try using some of the relaxation methods below:

  • listen to music
  • take a warm bath
  • exercise
  • watch TV
  • continue with your usual routines
  • talk to someone
  • remember to laugh often
  • sleep when your baby sleeps

Contact the MACH Nursing Service through the Central Health Intake line on 02 5124 9977, speak to your GP or visit the Period of PURPLE Crying website.

Page last updated on: 1 Dec 2020