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Baby Makes 3 adapts to COVID 19

Developed by Carrington Health in 2008, Baby Makes 3 (BM3) builds the knowledge and skills in new parents to foster equal and respectful relationships. The program is designed to influence attitudes and social norms about equitable parenting, as well as the rigid gendered expectation of parents.

The centrepiece of the BM3 approach is a group based program led by trained male and female facilitators. It is delivered directly to parents, via Local Government Maternal and Child Health Service first time parent groups and Public Maternity Service child birth education programs.

What are you doing differently?

As a result of COVID-19 restrictions, all face to face group based programs with expectant and new parents including BM3 were cancelled. Alternate models and methods of delivery needed to be developed to support ongoing delivery of the programs messages into participating local government maternal and child health services first time parent groups and public maternity services child birth education programs.

BM3 created 5 online modules reflecting the key messages of the group based program:

  • Module 1: Me-Us-We Relationship Changes
  • Module 2: Expectations of New Parents
  • Module 3: More to do - how we manage?
  • Module 4: Building Balance
  • Module 5: The Way we communicate

These module links were uploaded to Carrington Health’s You Tube channel and shared with partners. A flyer was created for parents to accompany the online resources and provide some background and context to the online program.

Another option was for our partners to develop their own online resources fit for local context using their own BM3 facilitators. The BM3 team provided scripts and power point slides which partners used to create the modules using local voices and faces.

Our partners have used this new resource in different ways. For example, Surf Coast Council created their own modules using the scripts, powerpoints slides and voices of local MCH nurses and BM3 facilitators and disseminated them weekly via their newly created WhatsApp new parents groups.

In addition to creating online modules, BM3 staff have delivered live online programs using Zoom for the Child Birth and Parenting Education programs at Bairnsdale Regional Health Service.

What is working well?

Not all new parents would come in to council’s face to face first time parent groups. This resource has actually enabled the messages to reach a wider group of new parents. This is something that can be continued post the COVID 19 restrictions.

All expectant parents who register to complete Child Birth and Parenting Education Programs at Northern Health will be sent the modules as a routine part of practice. This will continue beyond COVID restrictions.

What have you learned along the way?

It was interesting to see how our different partners preferred to use the new resources. Some preferred to use the module links as they were; some preferred to use their own local facilitators to provide a local voice and familiar face; some sent all the links with the flyer to all first time parents and their families; some preferred to provide one module on a weekly basis.

The BM3 team continues to acknowledge that local organisations know their communities best, and enabling flexibility of delivery models is essential for local context.

Webpage: Baby Makes 3