A second bundle of joy

By Charmayne Allison

FIRST-TIME Echuca mums will leave hospital with the essentials for the initial months and years of their child’s life thanks to new baby bundles from the Victorian Government.

The free bundles arrived at Echuca Regional Health on Monday, with four already delivered to delighted new mums.

Valued at $150 each, the bundles include a teething ring, nappy bag, safe sleeping bag, cotton wrap, first aid kit, baby sunhat, toothbrush and grow suit.

A booklet developed in collaboration with Raising Children Network provides vital information on child health, safety and learning and emergency contacts.

There are also four picture books for various stages of a child’s development, all by Victorian authors.

ERH homecare midwife Cathy Fraser will deliver the bags on her homecare visits after patients are discharged from hospital and said local mums were already loving the bundles.

"They’re really excited about what’s inside them and how useful they are," she said.

"The bags help new mums and families feel valued — plus some mums don’t have everything they need, so this has got some great bits and pieces for them."

While Echuca Regional Health bundles are just for Victorian mums, New South Wales mums can apply for a similar bundle by emailing [email protected]

Ms Fraser said the new bundles coincided perfectly with ERH’s unveiling of an updated maternity section on its website.

The section now includes contact details so mums can self-refer for booking as well as information on inductions, doctor and midwife visits and what to pack for the hospital.

"We’re hoping to eventually include forms on the website so mums can self-refer online if they want," Ms Fraser said.

ERH is also encouraging local mums to book in at about 12 to 14 weeks of pregnancy.

"This is particularly for first-time mums so we can organise their childbirth education classes and give out a lot of information on diet and looking after yourself in pregnancy," Ms Fraser said.

"The earlier mums book in, the earlier they get that important information.

"And even for second and third time mums, it means we can make sure they’re aware of all that stuff and they have all the information they need for their pregnancy."