Department of Health

Key messages

  • The Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Program addresses maternal risk behaviours and provides women with support during their pregnancy.
  • The program targets pregnant women who are unable access antenatal care services or who need extra support because they are at risk of poorer health outcomes.
  • It works with women while they are pregnant until about 4 to 6 weeks after birth.

The Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Program addresses maternal risk behaviours and provides women with support during their pregnancy. It works with women while they are pregnant until they are effectively engaged with Maternal and Child Health services after birth (usually 4 to 6 weeks).

The program targets pregnant women who are unable to access antenatal care services or who need extra support because they have greater health risks as a result of factors including:

  • socioeconomic status
  • culturally and linguistically diverse background
  • health behaviours
  • mental health
  • history of engagement with child protection services
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent
  • age
  • distance from services.

Program services

The Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Program aims to reduce the burden of chronic disease and improve the health and wellbeing of mothers and babies. To achieve this, the program:

  • works to improve access to antenatal, postnatal and other health and human services
  • supports women during their pregnancy
  • delivers health promotion messages that encourage healthy behaviours during and after pregnancy.

The Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Program is not a clinical antenatal care service. Rather, it links women to existing services early, provides community-based support beyond what current services provide, and promotes continuity of care.

The program includes the following services:

  • outreach to pregnant women who may be difficult to engage, or who have complex needs
  • community-based support to women, up to 4 to 6 weeks after birth
  • help for women to access clinical antenatal care providers and maternal and child health nurses
  • help for women to link up with health and human service providers as needed
  • health information and education, especially about the impacts of drug and alcohol use, smoking, healthy eating, exercise and breastfeeding
  • peer support from other pregnant women.

Metropolitan Melbourne

Metropolitan Melbourne

 

Rural and Regional Victoria

Rural and Regional Victoria

 

How women can access the program

Pregnant women can access the program by:

  • referring themselves to the program
  • being referred by a general practitioner, maternity services, maternal and child health services or other local services (such as mental health, drug and alcohol or housing services).

How to make a referral to the program

To make a referral to the program, contact a service provider from the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies list below. The preferred method is to complete a SCTT referral form (from the Department of Health Service Coordination Tool Templates). Community health services in other local government areas may also offer services to women who are pregnant. Check with the local community health centre.

Who delivers the program

The Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Program is delivered through local community health services. Clinicians employed in the program come from many professional backgrounds, such as midwifery, family support, social work, and maternal and child health nursing.

These clinicians can effectively link women to the broader range of services that operate through community health services, such as counselling, allied health and dental services, and other visiting services.

Healthy Mothers, Health Babies Program Local Government Area locations

  • Ballarat Community Health Service

    To make a referral or for further information, please contact: (03) 5338 4544 or 5338 4540

  • IPC Health

    To make a referral: Phone (03) 9296 1200 and ask for community health intake

    For information about the program: Phone (03) 9313 5000

  • Echuca Regional Health

    To make a referral or for further information about the program, please call (03) 5485 5000.

  • Monash Health Community

    To make a referral or for further information about the program: Phone 1300 342 273 option 4 or Fax (03) 9554 9221

    Email: MHCAccess@monashhealth.org

  • Gippsland Lakes Community Health Service

    To make a referral or for further information phone  (03) 5152 0052

     
  • Peninsula Health 

    To make a referral or for further information about the program: Phone 1300 665 781

  • Monash Health Community

    To make a referral or for further information about the program: Phone 1300 342 273 option 4 or Fax (03) 9554 9221

    Email: MHCAccess@monashhealth.org

  • Grampians Community Health Service

    To make a referral or for further information about the program : Phone  (03) 5358 7400 

    Email:  gchrefer@grampianscommunityhealth.org.au

     
  • DPV Health

    To make a referral or for further information about the program please phone 1300 234 263 select option 5 for intake.

    For online referrals: access the electronic referral template via connecting care at DPV Health

  • Latrobe Community Health Service

    To make a referral or for further information phone: (03) 5136 5310 

  • Western Health

    To make a referral: Phone (03) 9747 7609 

    For online referrals: access the electronic referral template via connecting care at Western Health
     

  • Sunraysia Community Health 

    To make a referral or for further information about the program, contact:  (03) 50225444 Fax - (03) 50225445 E-mail -  schs@schs.com.au

     
  • Peninsula Health 

    To make a referral or for further information about the program : Phone 1300 665 781

     
  • Goulburn Valley Health  

    To make a referral or for further information contact: 1800 222 582 (press 4 for community)

     
  • South West Healthcare

    To make a referral or for further information phone: (03)  5563 1549

     
  • DPV Health

    To make a referral or for further information about the program: Phone (03) 9409 8724 or Fax (03) 9408 9508

    For online referrals: access the electronic referral template via connecting care at DPV Health

  • Gateway Community Health Service

    To make a referral or for further information please, contact: 02 6022 8888

     
  • IPC Health

    To make a referral: Phone (03) 8734 1400 and ask for community health intake

    For information about the program: Phone (03) 9216 7777

  • Inspiro / Eastern Health

    To make a referral or for more information about the program Inspiro: Phone (03) 9738 8801 (including suburbs of Lilydale, Belgrave, Mount Evelyn, Monbulk, Montrose)

    To make a referral or for more information about the program at Eastern Health: Phone 1300 130 381 (including suburbs of Yarra Glen, Healesville, Yarra Junction, Seville and Warburton).

  • Grampians Community Health Service

    To make a referral or for further information about the program : Phone  (03) 5358 7400 

    Email:  gchrefer@grampianscommunityhealth.org.au

     

Reviewed 24 August 2022

Health.vic

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