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Maternal and Child Health

Maternal and Child Health (MCH) is a free voluntary service and it is available to families of children from birth to school age. MCH has support available relating to health and safety, parenting, development, and growth. We want to help you get the support and information you need to keep you and your child happy, safe and healthy from birth.

We operate Monday to Friday and once a month on a Saturday from two of our centres.

Support our MCH service can provide

Our Maternal and Child Health (MCH) service can provide support with:

  • regular visits to see a Maternal and Child Health Nurse
  • understanding your baby
  • breastfeeding support
  • new parent groups
  • child health and development
  • maternal/paternal emotional and physical health
  • parent-child relationships
  • home and car safety for infants
  • child accident and injury prevention
  • immunisation
  • nutrition
  • family planning
  • referrals to local support services and other health agencies

Our MCH service offers 10 free visits with a nurse to review your child's health, growth and development at key ages and stages.

Key ages and stages

We recommend that you visit us for assessment at each of the following stages in your child’s life. The links below will take you to the Victorian Government's Better Health website where there is more information on each key stage. These stages are:

Your first contact with Maternal Child Health (MCH)

The hospital where you have your baby will let us know when you give birth. They will pass on your contact details and you will be paired with a MCH nurse in your area. Within a week of returning from the hospital, your MCH nurse will contact you. You can then arrange a time for your nurse to visit you at home, and for you to visit the MCH centre.

During this initial consultation, a friendly MCH nurse will discuss the next steps and future appointments. It is a great opportunity to ask any questions that may be relevant to you or your baby.

You must bring your My Health, Learning and Development Record to every appointment

The hospital where your baby was born will provide you with a My Health, Learning and Development Record. You might know this as your Child Health Record or the ‘green book’. At each appointment, your nurse will record your child’s milestones. Health, growth, development and immunisations are recorded in this book, which is why it’s important to bring it to each appointment. You can learn more about immunisation on our Immunisation page.

Where to find a Maternal Child Health (MCH) centre

There are 16 MCH centres located in Merri-bek. The centres are staffed by nurses with general nursing midwifery and maternal and child health nursing qualifications. The centre that you will visit for your appointments will depend on which one is closest to where you live. Find your nearest MCH centre by suburb below.

  • Albion Maternal and Child Health Centre
    123 Albion Street, Brunswick
    Phone: 9240 1111

    Brunswick South Maternal and Child Health Centre
    11 Glenlyon Road, Brunswick
    Phone: 9240 1111

    Lygon Street Maternal and Child Health Centre
    320 Lygon Street, Brunswick East
    Phone: 9240 1111

    Brunswick West Maternal and Child Health Centre
    482 Victoria Street, Brunswick West
    Phone: 9240 1111

  • Coburg Maternal and Child Health Centre
    Coburg Children's Centre, 1 Wardens Walk, Coburg
    Phone:  9240 1111

    Merri-bek Maternal and Child Health Centre
    32 The Avenue, Coburg
    Phone: 9240 1111

    Newlands Maternal and Child Health Centre
    20 Murray Road, Coburg
    Phone: 9240 1111

    Merlynston Maternal and Child Health Centre
    Bain Reserve, Merlyn Street, Coburg North
    Phone: 9240 1111

  • Fawkner Maternal and Child Health Centre
    79 Jukes Road, Fawkner
    Phone: 9240 1111

    Lorne Street Maternal and Child Health Centre
    40 Lorne Street, Fawkner
    Phone: 9240 1111

  • Glenroy Maternal and Child Health Centre
    Glenroy Community Hub, 3/50 Wheatsheaf Road, Glenroy
    Phone:  9240 1111

    Belle Vue Park Maternal and Child Health Centre
    73 - 99 Morell Street, Glenroy (part of Belle Vue Park Primary School)
    Phone: 9240 1111

  • Gowanbrae Maternal and Child Health Centre
    2a Marigold Crescent, Gowanbrae
    Phone: 9240 1111

  • Hadfield Maternal and Child Health Centre
    Volga Street, Hadfield
    Phone: 9240 1111

  • Pascoe Vale Community Centre
    Pascoe Vale Community Centre, 7 Prospect Street, Pascoe Vale
    Phone: 9240 1111

    Woodlands Maternal and Child Health Centre
    20 Woodlands Avenue, Pascoe Vale South
    Phone: 9240 1111

How to contact Maternal Child Health services

We will reach out to you after your baby is born. However, you can contact us whenever you like, either by phoning 9240 1111 and selecting 2 when prompted or by emailing to reach the MCH team.

Contact the MCH Service if you:

  • have not been contacted by your nurse within a week of coming home
  • are having problems
  • are new to the Merri-bek area, or
  • would like to make an appointment

You can request an MCH appointment online by filling out the form on our Making an appointment to see a Maternal and Child Health nurse page.

Contact the Maternal and Child Health Hotline 24/7

You can also contact the Maternal and Child Health Hotline to speak to someone from our Maternal and Child Health services. This is a telephone service that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for Victorian families with children from birth to school age.

The phone number for the Maternal and Child Health Hotline is 13 22 29.

This service is part of the Victorian Maternal and Child Health Service and is fully funded by the State Government.

The Maternal and Child Health Hotline is staffed by qualified maternal and child health nurses who provide information, support and guidance on:

  • child health
  • nutrition
  • sleep and settling
  • breastfeeding
  • maternal and child health
  • parenting

All calls to the line are anonymous.

The service is able to connect culturally and linguistically diverse speaking callers to female interpreters from the Translating Interpreter Service.

It is also available to hearing or speech impaired callers who have access to the National Relay Service (NRS).

Maternal and Child Health services offered

  • Merri-bek Maternal and Child Health Service is running free Sleep and Settling Sessions for parents and carers of newborn babies through to toddlers.

    Sessions are broken up into 3 age groups:

    • Newborn Sessions for 0 to 6 month olds
    • Baby Sessions for 6 to 12 month olds
    • Toddler Sessions for 18 month olds and older

    These sessions, delivered by a Maternal and Child Health (MCH) nurse, will provide an understanding of baby sleep cycles and help identifying sleep needs and tired signs. Parents and carers will learn tips and strategies to promote positive sleep patterns appropriate for the different stages of their baby’s development.

    To find out the upcoming dates for our Sleep and Settling Sessions, read our 

    Sleep and Settling Session Calendar April - May 2024 (PDF)

    For bookings and further information, please contact MCH Appointments on 9240 1111 or email

  • New parent groups are a great way to meet other parents in your area, share experiences and make new friends.

    Becoming a first time parent can be an overwhelming and isolating experience. Attending a weekly new parent group session is a great opportunity to talk to other parents or to just listen to others share their stories.

    It is also a way to develop a support network, learn different ways of parenting and discuss options for child care.

    If you are a first time parent, your Maternal and Child Health Nurse will invite you to attend a new parent group session.

    At this session, you can chat with other parents about adjusting to being a parent, child development, sleep and settling, safety and baby massage.

    These sessions happen at your MCH centre. After this first session, you and the other parents can choose to continue meeting at a different location or to form a playgroup. You can find out more about forming a playground on our Playgroups in Merri-bek page.

    Your nurse will also let you know about any specialist parent groups in your area. For example, groups for twins, premature babies or culturally and linguistically diverse families.

  • Relatewell (also called the Family Relationships Institute Inc.) is a not-for-profit community organisation that provides counselling, marriage, relationship and parenting psychoeducational services. Relatewell is a leader in primary prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery. Relatewell aims to support individuals, couples and families in navigating life’s significant events.

    We partner with Relatewell so that they can provide counselling services to our parents and families who use the MCH service. You can learn more about this partnership and their services on the RelateWell website.

  • Update to breastfeeding support: sessions will now be by appointment only.

    Appointments are available at:

    • Merlynston (Bain Reserve, Merlyn Street, Coburg North) on Mondays between 9am and 3pm
    • Coburg (Coburg Children's Centre, 1 Wardens Walk, Coburg) on Wednesdays between 9am and 3pm

    To book an appointment call us on 9240 1111 and select option 2.

    We offer free breastfeeding and formula support and information to parents.  When your MCH nurse visits you and your baby in your home after birth, you will have the opportunity to get individualised support with breastfeeding and talk to your nurse about any issues you are having. 

    Our nurses have experience in providing advice and support with breast and formula feeding.  Some of our nurses have also completed International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) training.

    For further information, contact our team by calling by calling  9240 1111 and selecting option 2.  You are welcome to contact us any time for further breastfeeding and formula support.

    You can also find more information on the Australian Breastfeeding Association website.  This website includes online forums and the organisation also has a 24-hour helpline (1800 686 268).

  • We also offer groups just for dads to get support and help. Together with an organisation called Dads Groups, we run these groups at different locations across Merri-bek. Find out more on the Dads Group website.

    At a Dads Group session, dads can get support, share and learn, and connect with other dads who live in the area.

    You can get involved with the following Dads Groups through their Facebook groups:

    Our Resources for Dads booklet provides some useful links to information and support services that you may like to use in your parenting journey. 

Immunisation services

You can learn more about immunisation on our Immunisation page.