In this section
The arrival of a new baby makes a big
difference to family life, bringing both new joys and new challenges.
Even if it is not your first baby, a new baby will mean some
changes to your family lifestyle. The Maternal and Child Health Service can help you with these changes by providing information
The Maternal and Child Health Service is a free service available to all families with
children from birth to school age. There are Maternal and Child Health Centres located in each local council area.
The service is run by Maternal and Child Health Nurses (MCHNs) who are registered nurses
with extra qualifications in midwifery and maternal and child
health. These nurses have the knowledge and experience to deal with
child and family health issues and problems.
Your MCHN offers information, guidance and support on issues
Most Maternal and Child Health Centres run some additional sessions, such as baby-settling
seminars, new parent groups, breastfeeding assessment and enhanced
MCHN services for particular needs. Ask your MCHN about the
services that are provided in your local area.
MCHNs will put you in touch with other mothers in your area and give
you the chance to form a new mother's group.
There are certain times of
development that are known as key ages and stages, and visits to your MCHN are scheduled to correspond with these stages. These key
visits are outlined in the Child Health Record (yellow or blue
book) and your MCHN should fill in the book at these
At these visits the MCHN will discuss:
You can call your MCHN at other times for advice or make an
appointment to visit them if necessary.
The Maternal and Child Health Line is a 24 hour telephone service (phone 13 22 29).
Qualified MCHNs offer information,
advice and referral to all families with young children.
An interpreter service is
Produced by the RCH Primary Care Liaison Unit (Kids
and MCHNs. First published March 2006. Reviewed in