Page 377 - Week 01 - Thursday, 17 February 2011

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been developed by the Parent-Infant Research Institute, available at

Ms Gallagher: I am advised that the answer to the member’s question is as follows:

(1) The “Pregnancy to Parenting Program” is the main antenatal class for first time parents accessing care through the antenatal clinic at the Canberra Hospital. There are antenatal classes for first time parents who are receiving care through the Canberra Midwifery Program at the Canberra Hospital which are prescriptive to a birth centre and early discharge. Calvary Health Care provides antenatal education to first time parents through their public maternity unit.

(2) The early postnatal period from an acute perspective is the first two weeks. The internationally recognised postnatal period is six weeks. The “Pregnancy to Parenting Program” is designed to provide education on early breastfeeding, baby care, self care and support in the first two weeks of the early postnatal period. On discharge from hospital all mothers are offered referral to the Maternal and Child Health (MACH) services. MACH services offer ongoing infant and early child health monitoring and surveillance, adaptation to parenting and parenting education and support. It is important to have connected women to their community partners (MACH) to support them past the first two weeks and ongoing beyond the six week period.

(3) The topics discussed under self care include rest for the mother and father, good nutrition, perineal care, comfortable clothing and adaptation to parenting. During this session Postnatal Depression is discussed, the third day “blues”, changes to family life and support services in the community such as MACH, Postnatal & Antenatal Depression Support & Information (PANDSI) and the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA). A program developed in collaboration with Relationships Australia and the Child and Family Centres, called “And Baby Makes Three” is also offered as an excellent course for new parents. This program aims to assist couples to maintain intimacy and romance, positively prepare for and meet the changes with a new baby, support one another through interrupted sleep and changes to household routine and draw on the attributes that are intrinsic to a relationship. This program discusses similar topics to that offered by the Towards Parenthood Program but is locally based.

(4) All first time parents who access the Pregnancy to Parenting Program are able to provide feedback through an evaluation at the end of the sessions and again at a reunion gathering after the birth of their babies. Based on this feedback received, the antenatal education is reviewed to meet the needs of the community. Many first time parents often comment at the reunion that they wished they had focused more on session four and five than the labour and birth series, however are aware that their main focus is related to the birth in the antenatal period. Many first time parents also feedback the positive outcome of accessing MACH services early to deal with their adaptation to parenting and some attend the New Parent Groups in the community through the MACH services.

(5) All the information provided in the antenatal education sessions are based on evidenced based best practice. There is no one set of antenatal guidelines accessed, however the Antenatal Education Department at Canberra Hospital refers to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) Guidelines on best practice pregnancy and birth care and the Childbirth Education Association of Australia to develop this program. The coordinator of the Antenatal Education Program at Canberra Hospital holds an Advanced Diploma in Adult Education.

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