Parent education resources

The resources below provide information you can use throughout pregnancy, for birth preparation, recovery after birth, for feeding and early care of your baby.

Information on coronavirus restrictions at Mercy Health hospitals.

Face-to-face antenatal classes and tours have been suspended due to coronavirus. Here are some helpful resources to help you understand and prepare for your pregnancy journey. For pregnancy information in other languages:

Health Translations

  • Website: Health Translations
  • About:

    Health Translations is an online library which enables health practitioners and those working with culturally and linguistically diverse communities to easily find free translated health information.

Options for pregnancy care

Diet in pregnancy

Healthy eating during your pregnancy

  • Website: Healthy eating during pregnancy
  • About:

    The Australian Dietary Guidelines provide up-to-date advice about the amount and kinds of foods that we need to eat for health and wellbeing. They are based on scientific evidence and research.

Healthy eating in pregnancy and breastfeeding

Pregnancy and diet

Recommended pregnancy weight gain and BMI calculator

  • Website: BMI calculator
  • About:

    Calculate today’s gestation and the dates for common pregnancy milestones using either the estimated due date (EDD) or last menstrual period (LMP).

Routine pregnancy investigations

Genetic screening at Victorian Clinical Genetic Services

  • Website: VCGS genetic screening
  • About:

    Some families choose to have a genetic screen test performed in early pregnancy. Learn more about your testing options.

Morphology scan

An ultrasound scan of baby between 18-22 weeks’ gestation. This scan can take 45 minutes to one hour and will examine:

  • measurements to check that baby is growing as expected
  • images of baby’s organs to check they are developing as expected
  • the placenta, umbilical cord and amniotic fluid levels as well as the blood flow to the uterus.

Glucose Tolerance Test

Pregnancy can trigger diabetes in women who do not normally have diabetes. Of the pregnant women in Australia, 12-14 per cent develop this type of diabetes, which is called ‘gestational diabetes’. If untreated, gestational diabetes can have a harmful effect on the health of a mother and her baby. A blood test is performed in the morning after fasting overnight at a pathology clinic, hospital or a medical centre.

The test to screen for diabetes is called a Glucose Tolerance Test. The test determines how well glucose (sugar) is absorbed, by having the woman fast overnight and then drink a sweet drink.

The test is:

  • performed between 26-28 weeks
  • a fasting blood test, which means no food, chewing gum or cigarettes from 10pm the night before the test
  • water (plain) only allowed from 10pm the night before the test
  • 3 x blood tests are taken over 2 hours:
    • fasting blood sugar test
    • 1 hour after a glucose drink
    • 2 hours after a glucose drink

Common pregnancy concerns

Your baby's movements

  • Website: Baby movements
  • About:

    Learn more about how getting to know your baby’s movement patterns can help you know that your baby is well and recognise if something has changed.

Sleeping on your side in third trimester

  • Website: Sleep on your side when baby’s inside.
  • About:

    Learn more about new research shows that going to sleep on your side from 28 weeks of pregnancy halves your risk of stillbirth compared with sleeping on your back.

Daily actions for your safer pregnancy

Stillbirth Safer Baby Resources during Covid-19

Blood groups in pregnancy

Bladder and bowel health in pregnancy

Smoking and pregnancy

Alcohol and pregnancy

Immunisation for pregnancy

Timing of your baby's birth

Gestational Diabetes and Diabetes in Pregnancy

Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes:

Understanding gestational diabetes - NDSS

Supermarket shopping guide

  • Website: Supermarket shopping guide during pregnancy
  • About:

    Disclaimer: Pregnant women should avoid food which may contain listeria bacteria. Pregnant women should not eat ricotta cheese or smoked salmon, which are listed on this shopping guide.

Preparing for baby

Car restraints

  • Website: Choose the right child restraint
  • About:

    Learn more about how children need different restraints as they grow. The restraint must be the right size for the child, properly adjusted and fastened, and correctly fitted to the vehicle.

Safety with pets

  • Website: Safety with pets
  • About:

    A guide to nurturing the child and pet relationship from pregnancy  to preschool.

Reusable nappies

  • Website: Cloth Nappy Workshops Melbourne
  • About:

    Information on the types of workshops provided, and the topics they cover. To register for an upcoming workshop either in your area or virtually via the online platform Zoom, check out the Events page in our Facebook community group.

Safety guide to infant products

Labour and birth

Mercy Perinatal Toolkit

Labour and Birth

  • Website: Information on labour and birth
  • About:

    Learn more about how every labour and birth is unique and unpredictable, making it difficult to plan.

    It is common for women to feel some level of anxiety during pregnancy; perhaps about their changing body, the health of their baby or concerns about the birth.

Spinning babies

Hypnobirthing Australia

  • Website: Hypnobirthing
  • About:

    Learn more about Hypnobirthing Australia.

Calmbirth

Australian Birth Stories Podcast

Induction of Labour

Pain Relief in Labour and Childbirth

Pain relief and having a baby

  • Website: Pain relief and having a baby
  • About:

    Learn more about how to discuss the methods of pain relief available with your midwife, obstetrician
    and anaesthetist well in advance of your labour.

Assisted Birth

  • Website: Assisted Birth
  • About:

    Most babies are born without any need for assistance, but there are times when assistance may be required for the safety of mother or baby. Learn more about assisted birth.

Baby in breech position near term

  • Website: Learn more about your baby in breech position near term
  • About:

    About 4% of babies are not “head first” by 36-37 weeks of pregnancy. If a baby is breech, it can make labour more complicated. For this reason, most women in Australia with a breech baby will have a planned Cesarean birth.

Vaginal Birth after Caesarean Section

TENS hire

  • Website: TENS
  • About:

    FreeMOM TENS is a Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (T.E.N.S.) device which has been specifically designed to assist in the relief of pain during labour, afterbirth pain and assist with sleeping after delivery.

Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Information

Breastfeeding videos

  • Website: Breastfeeding videos
  • About:

    The ‘Breastfeeding basics’ video has been created to educate families about the early days and weeks of breastfeeding.

Recovery after birth

Healthy bladder and bowel habits after birth

Nangnak Wan Myeek - Mercy Hospital for Women

  • Website: Nangnak Wan Myeek
  • About:

    The Nangnak Wan Myeek Program supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and families after the birth of your baby.

Your Contraceptive Choices

Newborns

Safe sleep, safe wrapping and tummy time - Red Nose

  • Website: Red Nose
  • About:

    Information for you and your baby – safe sleeping, safe wrapping and tummy time.

Newborn injections Vitamin K and Hepatitis B

Newborn blood test

  • Website: Newborn bloodspot screening
  • About:

    Every newborn baby in Australia is offered a test for rare, but serious, medical conditions. This is called newborn screening.

Victorian Infant Hearing Screening Program

Kidsafe

  • Website: Learn more about kid safe.
  • About:

    Kidsafe Victoria is an independent, not for profit organisation dedicated to the prevention of unintentional death and injury to children through education, advocacy and research.

Immunisation fact sheet

Multiple birth

Australian Multiple Birth Association

  • Website: www.amba.org.au
  • About:

    Tips about what to expect while you are pregnant, information on common issues for multiple birth, and useful information if you are already a multiple birth family.

Perinatal Anxiety and Depression

PANDA Hotline

  • Website: Learn more about prinatal anxiety and depression
  • About:

    PANDA’s National Perinatal Mental Health Helpline is Australia’s only free, national helpline service for women, men and their families affected by perinatal mental illness.

    The Helpline provides a safe and confidential space for any new or expecting parent struggling with the challenges of becoming a new parent.

    Our highly trained and caring counsellors can help you work through your challenges by talking openly and honestly about your thoughts, feelings and experiences.

Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue - Information for dads

Beyond Blue - Dadvice series

Mumspace

  • Website: Mumspace
  • About:

    Support for the emotional health of new mums, at every step.

COPE - Centre of Perinatal Excellence

  • Website: COPE
  • About:

    Information for new parents adjusting to the changes and challenges in the first year.

Black Dog Institute

  • Website: Black Dog Institute
  • About:

    Researching the early detection, prevention and treatment of common mental health disorders.

Premature baby

Raising Children Network - Premature birth

Austprem

  • Website: www.austprem.org.au
  • About:

    Through Austprem, families who have experienced the complex challenges of parenting a premature infant reach out to other families facing this journey, and offer friendship, information and support.

Premature baby - Pregnancy, birth & baby

Better Health Channel - Premature babies

  • Website: Premature babies
  • About:

    Learn more about premature birth and premature babies.

Mercy Health Breastmilk Bank

  • Phone numbers:

    Mercy Health Breastmilk Bank
    03 8458 4477
    We are available Monday to Friday, 8am–4pm.

  • Email address: milkbank@mercy.com.au
  • Website: Mercy Health Breastmilk Bank
  • About:

    Please contact us if you are interested in becoming a breastmilk donor.
    If we are unable to answer the phone, please leave a voicemail with your contact details, or send us an email and we will respond within 24 hours.

Association for Children with a Disability

  • Website: www.acd.org.au
  • About:

    ACD works to improve the lives of children with a disability and their families.

Sands

  • Website: www.sands.org.au
  • About:

    Volunteer parent supporters offering a real sense of understanding and hope to bereaved parents as they too have been through the devastating loss of a baby.

Family and community service support

If you are in danger, phone 000.

At Mercy Health, we understand family violence. We know, pregnancy and the immediate postnatal period are among the highest risk periods for the onset and escalation of family violence for women. There is support available for you and your family.

Support services that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week:

Safe Steps

  • Phone numbers:

    Safe Steps
    1800 015 188

  • Website: www.safesteps.org.au
  • About:

    Safe steps is Victoria’s state-wide first response service for women, young people and children experiencing family violence. Phone contact is available 24 hours, 7 days a week.

1800-RESPECT

  • Phone numbers:

    1800-RESPECT
    1800 737 732

  • Website: www.1800respect.org.au
  • About:

    1800RESPECT is a free national sexual assault and domestic family violence counselling service. Telephone counselling is available 24/7.

Centre Against Sexual Assault

  • Phone numbers:

    Centre Against Sexual Assault
    1800 806 292

  • Website: CASA
  • About:

    Support if you have experienced sexual assault. The Victorian Centres Against Sexual Assault (CASA) Forum is the peak body of the 15 Centres Against Sexual Assault, and the Victorian Sexual Assault Crisis Line (after hours).

MensLine Australia

  • Phone numbers:

    MensLine Australia
    1300 789 978

  • Website: mensline.org.au
  • About:

    MensLine is a 24/7 professional telephone and online support and information service for men.

Relationships:

Relationships Australia

  • Website: Relationships Australia
  • About:

    Relationships Australia Victoria is a valued provider of specialist family and relationship services.

Catholic Care Relationship Courses

  • Website: Catholic Care Relationship Courses
  • About:

    For couples preparing for marriage or strengthening their bond, expecting a new baby, or navigating parenting into the teen years, Catholic Care programs help people to interact respectfully and positively.

Contacts and emergency

In case of emergency, call 000

Emergency contacts

Emergency Department

  • Phone numbers:

    Emergency Department
    03 8458 4444
    24 hours, 7 days a week

  • Website: Emergency Department
  • Address:
    Level 1
    163 Studley Road
    Heidelberg Victoria 3084

    Get directions

  • Opening hours: Our service is open 24-hours a day, seven days a week
  • About:

    Please use this contact phone number to contact the Emergency Department via Main Reception.

    The Mercy Hospital for Women Emergency Department provides urgent assessment and treatment for women with acute gynaecological and pregnancy problems, and emergency care for newborn babies who were born at the hospital.

    Entrance to the Emergency Department is on Burgundy Street, Heidelberg.
    The MERCY entrance is next to the Austin Hospital Emergency Department.

    It may be determined during your assessment that your primary issue is not gynaecological or related to your pregnancy. In this case, we may refer you for further assessment and treatment at the Austin Hospital Emergency Department, which is located within the same hospital complex as Mercy Hospital for Women.

Emergency Department

  • Website: Emergency Department
  • Address:
    300 Princes Highway
    Werribee Victoria 3030

    Get directions

  • About:

    The Werribee Mercy Hospital Emergency Department provides urgent assessment and treatment for people of all ages, and for all conditions.
    For non-urgent conditions, there are general practitioners (GPs) located near the hospital who are available until late in the evening.
    If you are unsure about your condition, or you are concerned about a family member, come to the Emergency Department.

NURSE-ON-CALL

  • Phone numbers:

    NURSE-ON-CALL
    1300 60 60 24
    24 hours a day, 7 days a week

  • Website: NURSE-ON-CALL - health.vic
  • About:

    NURSE-ON-CALL is a phone service that provides immediate, expert health advice from a registered nurse.

    If you think your situation is an emergency, you should always call 000 or go to an emergency department at a hospital.

    Call for the cost of a local call from anywhere in Victoria for health advice 24 hours a day (calls from mobile phones may be charged at a higher rate).

    NURSE-ON-CALL puts you directly in touch with a registered nurse for caring, professional health advice around the clock. You may need us when:

    – you or someone you’re caring for is feeling unwell
    – you are not sure if you should seek medical help
    – you’re away from home or situated a long way from medical help
    – you simply want advice or information about health services in your area.

    What happens when I call for advice?
    Step 1 – a registered nurse will answer your call and collect some basic details.

    Step 2 – the nurse will then ask you a series of questions about your symptoms and other issues relating to your health.

    Step 3 – at the end of the call the nurse may suggest ways you can care for yourself, advise you to contact a GP or, in the event that your condition is very serious, transfer the call to 000. Note that nurses do not provide a full diagnosis of your symptoms.

    NURSE-ON-CALL uses the most up-to-date health information available, giving you and your family the highest quality advice. All information you provide remains confidential and records are fully secure.

Maternal and Child Health Line

  • Phone numbers:

    Maternal and Child Health Line
    13 22 29
    24 hours a day, 7 days a week

  • Email address: mchline@edumail.vic.gov.au
  • Website: Maternal and Child Health Line
  • About:

    The Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Line is a statewide telephone service av​ailable every day of the year for​​ Victorian families with children from birth to school age.

    Maternal and child health nurses can provide information, support and guidance regarding a range of issues including child health, nutrition, breastfeeding, maternal and family health and parenting.

Mental Health Triage

  • Phone numbers:

    Mental Health Triage
    ​1300 657 259
    24 hours, 7 days a week

  • Website: Mercy Mental Health Triage
  • About:

    If you are experiencing mental distress or you are seeking treatment for a mental health problem, please phone the triage line
    For emergencies requiring immediate assistance, call 000.
    You may need to leave a message on an answering service and the triage worker will return your call as soon as possible.

Mercy Palliative Care Services

Other places to get help

Better Health Channel

  • Website: betterhealth.vic.gov.au
  • About:

    We provide health and medical information to improve the health and wellbeing of people and the communities they live in. This information is:

    • quality-assured and reliable
    • up-to-date
    • locally relevant
    • easy to understand.

    The information on our site aims to help people understand and manage their health and medical conditions. It does not replace care provided by medical practitioners and other qualified health professionals.

    We are fully funded by the Victorian Government, with no commercial advertising or corporate sponsorship.

beyondblue

  • Phone numbers:

    beyondblue Support Service
    1300 224 636
    24 hours, 7 days a week

  • Website: beyondblue.org.au
  • About:

    Equipping everyone in Australia with the knowledge and skills to achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live. We give people the confidence to support those around them, and make anxiety, depression and suicide part of everyday conversations. And as well as tackling stigma, prejudice and discrimination, we’re breaking down the barriers that prevent people from speaking up and reaching out.

    Services avialable through the beyondblue website include:

    • Call
    • Chat online
    • Email
    • Online forums

    If you require immediate support, please contact the beyondblue Support Service.

Lifeline

  • Phone numbers:

    Lifeline
    131 114
    24 hours, 7 days a week

  • Website: lifeline.org.au
  • About:

    Lifeline is a national charity providing all Australians experiencing a personal crisis with access to 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services.

    What happens when you call 13 11 14
    Our trained Telephone Crisis Supporters will answer your call and:

    Listen to your situation
    Provide immediate support
    Assist to clarify options and choices available to you
    Provide you with referral information for other services in your local area.
    Your call will be answered as soon as possible by the next available crisis supporter. If your call isn’t answered straight away, it means we are experiencing high demand for our service and helping other Australians in need.

    Please stay on the line or call back later.

    If you are in immediate danger call 000.

Parentline

  • Phone numbers:

    Parentline
    13 22 89
    8am to midnight, 7 days a week.

  • Website: parentline
  • About:

    Parentline is a confidential and anonymous phone counselling service for parents and carers of children and teenagers in Victoria. We offer counselling, information and support around a range of parenting issues.

Raising Children Network

  • Website: raisingchildren.net.au
  • About:

    Raising Children Network is the complete resource for Australian parents, taking you from pregnancy to newborns to teenagers. We offer evidence-based content you can trust on hundreds of topics about raising children and looking after yourself as a parent.

    At the Raising Children Network website, we believe that all children and families are individual and different. Our scientifically validated content is translated into everyday language to help parents and carers make decisions that work for them in their individual family circumstances.

PANDA National Helpline

  • Phone numbers:

    PANDA’s National Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Helpline
    1300 726 306
    9am-7:30pm, Monday to Friday

  • Website: panda.org.au
  • About:

    PANDA – Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia supports women, men and families across Australia affected by anxiety and depression during pregnancy and early parenthood. PANDA operates Australia’s only National Helpline for individuals and their families to recover from perinatal anxiety and depression, a serious illness that affects up to one in five expecting or new mums and one in ten expecting or new dads.

Last reviewed August 15, 2020.

Top tips for safe health care

These top tips are designed to help patients, families, carers and other support people get the most out of your health care.

Top tips for safe health care

Requesting a female doctor

At Mercy Health, we understand some women feel more comfortable with a female doctor. Find out about your options.

Requesting a female doctor

Translating and interpreting services

Learn how to contact our services through a telephone interpreter if you have difficulty communicating in English.

Translating and interpreting services