Important Update to Maternal & Child Health Services
Due to the current COVID-19 situation, changes to Colac Otway Shire’s Maternal & Child Health service delivery are being introduced.
M&CH will no longer have an open session on Tuesday mornings but staff members will be available for appointments if you have a concern about your child.
We are postponing our first-time parents’ groups but again we will have staff available for appointments.
Appointments will need to change and M&CH staff apologise in advance for any inconvenience and thank parents for their understanding.
Parents who have no immediate concerns for their child may prefer to have a telephone consult with a nurse rather than visiting the centre and can call 5232 9570 to arrange an appointment.
Visit the Council's Community Information page for more information.
Council provides Maternal and Child Health services at eight centres throughout the shire. After the birth of your baby our team is notified and you will be contacted soon after to arrange a home visit before your baby is two weeks of age.
All our services are free and aim to support families and their child's health and development from birth until four years of age, and are led by registered nurses qualified in midwifery and maternal and child health.
You can make an appointment to visit a Maternal and Child Health nurse by calling Council on (03) 5232 9570. For advice and support outside of business hours, a statewide Maternal and Child Health Line operates 24 hours a day. The number to call is 132229.
The Maternal and Child Health team offers 10 free Key Ages and Stages consultations from birth to three and a half years. At each of these visits, the baby/child's health and development is assessed. Parents are given the opportunity to discuss their concerns, parenting experiences, and how to optimise their child’s health, growth and development.
The open session provides an opportunity for parents to visit Colac’s Maternal and Child Health Centre without an appointment.
When: Every Tuesday (except public holidays), from 10am – 11.45am
Where: Colac Maternal and Child Health Centre, 49 Queen Street, Colac
The open session is perfect for families who want a quick weigh and measure of your child or to discuss any minor concerns you have. It’s also an opportunity to make an appointment for your child’s major health and development check.
Because these sessions are busy, we will offer you a priority appointment for another day at the centre if you require extra time to discuss more detailed concerns. Two parking spaces are available at the front of the centre, or you can check the local bus timetable to help you arrive on time for the open session.
Did you know that minor feeding concerns are common in the early weeks after birth? Our Maternal and Child Health nurses are here to help if you have concerns with either breast or infant formula feeding. We have a qualified experienced lactation consultant who can support breastfeeding mums in our shire or refer when necessary. Breast pumps are available for hire in the shire, with more information on this in the equipment hire section.
Council has a number of locations within Colac that are breastfeeding friendly and also have dedicated change facilities. You can find them via our venues and facilities page.
You can find more information and support through the following services:
Becoming a parent for the first time can be a challenging yet exciting time. To help first time parents get the support they need, the Maternal and Child Health Service runs 'first time parents groups'. These groups enable first time parents to meet together in a relaxed and supportive environment.
The groups are facilitated by Maternal and Child Health nurses and guest speakers who provide Early Years Programs who will be happy to answer any questions you may have during these sessions. Members of parents groups often forge long-term friendships and at the end of their eight weeks most members continue to meet regularly. Ideally parents join the program when their baby is between one month and four months of age but we welcome all first time parents with a baby up to six months of age. First time parents who have a child over six months of age can talk with the Maternal and Child Health nurse about the possibility about joining an existing older age new parent group.
New parents will receive an invitation to be part of a first time parents group at their first visit with a Maternal and Child Health nurse.
The Circle of Security parent program helps parents to understand their baby’s or child’s needs by reading their behaviour on an imaginary circle. The ‘circle’ shows parents what to look for and how to be in charge in a kind way because worldwide our babies/children continually show us when they are ready to play or explore and when they need help or comfort from their parents.
The program is free and you can book in by calling the Maternal and Child Health nurses on (03) 5232 9570.
Our Maternal and Child Health nurses can help you get additional assistance if your child has specialised health or development needs. Some of these needs may include health concerns, speech delay, hearing concerns, developmental delay, nutrition concerns and issues with behaviour.
Our maternal and child health nurses can refer families for the following specialised assessments and or further management:
- Hearing tests
- Speech assessment
- Physiotherapy assessment
- Play and behaviour therapy
- Occupational therapy assessment
- Dental assessment
- National Disability Insurance Scheme
- Early Childhood Intervention Service
Breast pump hire
Our Maternal and Child Health nurses are able to loan new mums an electric breast pump for short periods in special circumstances. Call the Maternal and Child Health Centre for further information on (03) 5232 9570. Some pharmacies and the maternity service at Colac Area Health also hire out breast pumps in the early weeks or may be able to assist with locating a breast pump hire service.
Baby capsule hire
Council does not provide baby capsule hire, however the following businesses offer capsule hiring or fitting services in the shire. Please note, Council does not endorse any businesses listed on this page, they are provided for information purposes only.
- Home & Away Baby Hire - Providing capsule, car seat, high chair and portable cot hire. Contact Philippa Jordan on 0488 673 050 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Colac Toyota RACV - Approved fitters and installer of child restraints. Contact (03) 5231 5222 to book a fitting.
Road laws stipulate that children under six months must be in a rear facing restraint while travelling in a vehicle and children under four years must be restrained. Visit the VicRoads website to find out more about choosing the right child restraint.