Loddon celebrates 100 years of Maternal and Child Health

Published on 06 July 2017

Photo: Loddon Shire Maternal and Child Health Nurse Anthea Ryan.

Past and present Loddon Shire Maternal and Child Health nurses and families who have used the service will reunite in recognition of 100 years of Maternal and Child Health across Victoria.

An afternoon tea, planned for Tuesday, 18 July at the Inglewood Children’s Centre at 2pm, will see those involved in the Shire’s Maternal and Child Health come together and share their memories of the service.

Attending the afternoon tea will be Loddon Shire Maternal and Child Health Nurse Anthea Ryan, who works across the five Maternal and Child Health centres in the Shire – Inglewood, Dingee, Wedderburn, Boort and Pyramid Hill.

“I have been working in Loddon Shire for about three years. Having grown up in the Shire, it is lovely to return here for work,” Ms Ryan said.

In her role as a Maternal and Child Health Nurse, Ms Ryan supports families with new babies adjust to parenthood, including guiding families through sleep issues, feeding issues or development concerns.

“I love forming relationships with the family, especially the mother and her baby,” Ms Ryan said.

“It’s rewarding to see the mother and child bond form and flourish. Some mothers struggle with daily challenges and they do an amazing job nurturing their infant.”

She added that it was important families understood that the Maternal and Child Health Service was inclusive and non-judgmental.

“We support parents to choose what is right for them, as long as it’s safe and informed,” Ms Ryan said.

“We are providing more than just weighing babies or wanting everyone to breastfeed. The earlier a baby or child is identified as needing extra help or assessment, the better the outcome is for them.” 

Staffed by registered nurses with midwifery and maternal and child health nursing qualifications, the Maternal and Child Health service is funded jointly between the State and Loddon Shire Council.

The service provides important support around the health and wellbeing of children and parents and is available to all families in the Shire with children aged from birth to school entry age. From 2014 to 2016, 600 clients in the Loddon Shire were seen as part of the Maternal and Child Health service.

For more information regarding Council’s Maternal and Child Health Services or the upcoming afternoon tea celebrations, call 5437 7999.