Face-to-Face New Parent Groups

Whitehorse News - June 2020

Maternal and Child Health services have been maintained within the City of Whitehorse.

During Stay at Home restrictions under the pandemic, new mothers have been visiting the Maternal and Child Health service up until their child is eight weeks old. After that, visits have been conducted over the phone unless a parent or carer has specific concerns about their child’s health.

With the easing of restrictions, New Parent Groups are being conducted in person at local health centres in Whitehorse. Arrangements for the reintroduction of face-to-face New Parent Groups came about through liaison between nurses and new parents. At this point of restrictions easing, both online and face-to-face options are available.

Maternal Child Health nurse Wendy says, “We give mothers an option. Some are still worried about going out with their new baby, but others are ready.”

New Parent Group sessions go for over an hour and usually cover a specific topic per week over six weeks, however the current four week program is more self-directed. Facilitating nurses are asking groups what they are interested in discussing during this climate.

Laura, a participant of the first New Parent Group to meet after the easing of COVID-19 restrictions said, “It was nice to get a phone call last Friday offering this face-to-face service, checking to see if I felt comfortable meeting with other mothers in person.” Groups are restricted to five parents and five children and are socially distanced, in keeping with state guidelines around community meetings.

New Parent Groups continue to be a vital community service and having them up and running after COVID restrictions is wonderful for participants. This service will assist them to form new and significant connections with other mums in the community who share their interest and face similar challenges in caring for the newest members of our community.