New mums love a bit of help at home
GYMPIE region mums have embraced a State Government initiative which gives them home-based help in the first month of their child's life.
The Mums and Bubs program introduced at the Gympie Hospital last year has had more than 260 local mothers take up the offer of two free home visits from either a midwife or a child health nurse to assist them in the early stages of motherhood.
The two home-based visits provide new mothers with information across a broad range of topics including immunisation, sleep, breastfeeding, nutrition, child growth and development and safe environments.
It's available to all mothers in the Gympie region, even the furthest reaches.
Midwife Toni Cross said yesterday that since the home assistance program began in Gympie in January 2013, almost every new mum had said yes to the program.
"We offer the service to all
new mothers and second and third mothers as well," she said.
"Anyone who has a baby in Gympie Hospital - or Gympie mums who give birth in Nambour - has access.
"We have even travelled as far as Tansey and we provide the service until the baby is one month old.
"We have had wonderful feedback and the numbers are growing."
About 15,000 new mothers throughout the state have accessed the home visit program, with the number getting involved climbing by about 16% each quarter.
Health Minister Lawrence Springborg said well informed parents were more likely to make better
decisions regarding their child's health and development.
"We believe child and maternal care is extremely important," Mr Springborg said.
"Having a child is such an amazing thing. However, having a child can be extremely daunting, especially for first-time mothers.
"This program is about giving mothers the support they need in the comfort of their own home where things are familiar.
"It has been a very positive initiative which has been extremely popular with Queensland mothers."
Liz Wilkes from My Midwifes Queensland said the program had been extremely effective.
"It is a fantastic policy in principle," she said.
"The program has been extremely effective in certain HHS regions and mothers love it."
Number of mothers who accessed the program in each health region to September 2013:
Sunshine Coast: 982 (including 263 in Gympie)
Central Queensland: 1090
Central West: 21
Darling Downs: 1208
Metro North: 2063
Wide Bay: 1193