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100 years of Maternal & Child Health in Victoria 1917-2017

MCHN VIC INC published a special updated edition of  the book “All the Little Children: the story of Victoria’s Baby Health Centres” MORE INFORMATION HERE…

Research articles and links to items of interest in the news.

‘right@home’: a randomised controlled trial of sustained nurse home visiting from pregnancy to child age 2 years, versus usual care, to improve parent care, parent responsivity and the home learning environment at 2 years. March 2017

Building Better Brains
The brain story is a story about how experiences shape our brains. As such, it is also a story about human relationships, because we depend on those around us for the experiences that build our brain architecture.
Brain Architecture
Although genes play a role in how our brains develop, recent science shows how life experiences, in the first years of our lives and at other sensitive periods of development, change the architecture of the developing brain—for better or for worse.
Serve and Return
Positive interactions, called “serve and return” interactions by scientists, involve back and forth play between children and caregivers. These experiences build strong brain architecture, creating a solid foundation for learning, behaviour, and health.

Newborn brain may hold predictors of anxiety and depression  February 2017
Early predictors of anxiety and depression may be evident in the brain even at birth, new research suggests.
Analyzing brain scans of newborns, researchers found that the strength and pattern of connections between certain brain regions predicted the likelihood of the babies developing excessive sadness, shyness, nervousness, or separation anxiety by age two. Such symptoms have been linked to clinical depression and anxiety disorders in older children and adults. READ MORE…

Neither seen nor heard – Inquiry into issues of family violence in child deaths. December 2016
Neither seen nor heard REPORT

Cumulative risks and cessation of exclusive breastfeeding: Australian cross-sectional survey June 2015 READ MORE…

Maternal deaths in Australia 2008 -2012 (AIHW) READ MORE…

Publications from MCHN VIC seminar:

Johns HM, Forster DA, Amir LH, McLachlan HL, Moorhead AM, Ford R, McEgan KM: In-hospital feeding of term infants Baseline data of a prospective cohort study to explore the prevalence and outcomes of breast milk expressing and breast pump usage. J Paediatr Child Health 2012, 48:15-16.

Johns HM, Forster DA, Amir LH, Moorhead AM, McEgan KM, McLachlan HL. Infant feeding practices in the first 24–48 h of life in healthy term infants. Acta Paediatrica 2013; 102(7):e315-e20. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/apa.12259

Johns HM, Forster DA, Amir LH, McLachlan HL. Prevalence and outcomes of breast milk expressing in women with healthy term infants: a systematic review. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 2013; 13: 212. Available from: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2393/13/212

Johns HM, Forster DA, Amir LH, McLachlan HL, Moorhead AM, Ford RL, McEgan KM: Alienating the breast – the implications for expressing breast milk in hospital. Maternal and Infant Nutrition and Nurture; University of Central Lancashire 2013

The PRISM Project outcomes – a report on the longer term outcomes and the reflections on lessons learned READ MORE…

MCHN VIC Position Statement on Documentation for Maternal and Child Health Nurses 2014


Infants babble more when parents ‘baby talk’
January 2014
The more parents exaggerate vowels and raise the pitch of their voices when talking to babies, the more the babies babble, new research shows. READ MORE…

Mellow mothers, mellow babies?
A paper about an approach that can help depressed mothers. Mellow babies coaches mothers on how to bond with their babies as well as giving them support for their own emotional health. READ MORE…

Britain to pay mothers to breastfeed newborns, practice no longer ‘cultural norm’ in poor areas
New mothers in some parts of England are being paid to breastfeed their babies, in a move to boost the practice in poor areas.
Under the pilot scheme, 130 mothers in South Yorkshire and Derbyshire will be given food vouchers worth around $340 if they breastfeed for the first six weeks of their child’s life. READ MORE…

Scan baby’s fingerprints to track immunizations
August 2014
More than 2 million children die each year because they don’t receive their vaccinations on time. Researchers are developing a new system that scans a child’s fingerprints to track when vaccinations are due, which means parents will no longer need to keep paper documents. READ MORE…