Early Parenting Unit

Northpark’s Early Parenting Unit was established in 1997, and formerly known as the Mother Baby Unit. The unit has a long-standing reputation for service excellence providing individualised care, and the name change was delivered to align with the diversity amongst families welcomed on the Unit.  
The Early Parenting Unit offers both outpatient day programs as well as a residential inpatient stay for families who require support following the arrival of a new baby and throughout their first year.

Our unit is staffed by a highly qualified team of:  Paediatricians; Psychiatrists; Midwives; Nurses; Psychologists, and Social Workers who have extensive experience supporting families and their infants. 

Inpatient admissions are overseen by a dedicated team of Paediatricians and Perinatal Psychiatrists.  

Paediatric admissions offer a 3 night / 4 day for infants up to the age of 12 months along with their carer(s) for support with:

  • Sleep and settling 
  • Feeding difficulties
  • Reflux 
  • Intolerances and allergies 
  • Eczema
  • Colic      

Psychiatric admissions offer an inpatient stay for parent(s), along with their infant(s) up to 12 months of age for support with:

  • Adjusting to parenting 
  • Exhaustion 
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression 
  • Ongoing management of mental health concerns   

Dual admissions are also an option for eligible families who require both an infant and parent admission.

The Early Parenting Unit aims to provide:
  • A holistic and supportive approach to the care of families, and to facilitate in the development of secure parent-infant relationship and attachment. 
  • A comprehensive psychosocial assessment to determine an individualised care plan and provide the necessary support and strategies for you and your infant both during your stay and on discharge home. 
  • 1:1 Psychotherapy and psycho-education to support families with strategies suitable to their individual needs.
  • Group therapy sessions, including: Circle of Security, Music, art, and Occupational therapy. 
  • A supportive environment to provide evidence-based education that enhances parental confidence in responding to and caring for their infant utilising age appropriate techniques.   

(Please note: controlled crying and cry it out techniques are NOT used or encouraged on the Early Parenting Unit).

Perinatal mental health commences at the time of conception through to 12 months after the baby is born. It refers to the emotional and psychological wellbeing of the parents’ during this time.

Women are at greater risk of developing a mental illness following the birth of a child than at any other time in their life. Men are also at risk of developing a mental illness at this time and they should also be supported.

We are guided by: 

  • Recovery framework
  • The Australian Clinical Practice guideline – Mental Health Care in the Perinatal Period 2017 
  • The Raising Children network
  • The ACQSHC Health Service Standards. 

If you are a GP and would like to send a referral to the EPU for your patient, please ensure that the name on the referral is based on the type of admission. You can send it via:

Email: northpark.epuintake@healthscope.com.au

Fax: 03 9468 0358

Online Referral: http://www.northparkprivate.com.au/doctors/ereferr...



Paediatric Admission

The sleep and settling program is a three night program, which provides assessment, education and support strategies for babies with unsettled behaviour or sleeping difficulties. This includes issues associated with reflux, colic, feeding, intolerances and allergies.

Every baby is assessed by a Paediatrician who in consultation with the nursing staff, will provide an individual care plan.

Please advise our staff when discussing your admission, if your child has been unwell in the past few weeks.

Mental Health Admission

Parents who experience symptoms of depression, anxiety or adjustment or other postpartum difficulties are admitted under the care of a Psychiatrist.

This program is based on a recovery model and participation in individual, group therapy and ward programs are encouraged.

We have a range of specialists including psychiatrists, paediatricians, psychologists, nurse therapists, art therapists, social workers.

Admission Process

Although not mandatory, private health insurance is recommended for admission. Hospital cover is assessed for Paediatric admissions and Psychiatric cover is assessed for Mental Health admissions.

Step 1: Obtain referral from your GP or specialist (in baby’s name for Paediatric admission and in parent’s name for Mental Health admission outlining current issues. A referral for each is required where a dual admission is to be considered.

Step 2: Complete the 2 page EPU “Intake booking form” (see attachment below) and return along with your referral(s) via email on Northpark.EPUintake@healthscope.com.au or Fax 9468 0358.

Step 3: On receipt of all information, our EPU Intake team will aim to contact you within 2 business days to advise of any out of pocket expenses and details of anticipated admission.

Step 4: EPU Intake team will contact you to confirm admission date and time.

All parents and babies admitted to the Early Parenting Unit will be provided with a private room and where appropriate, babies are offered a separate sleep room with video monitoring to help support parent and baby with sleep and settling. Parent and baby will be provided with all meals. Sterilisers and breast pumps are available for use in the unit.

Families will have access to tea and coffee making facilities, a kitchen with dining area, as well as hospital Wi-Fi.

For parent

  • Health fund/Medicare cards
  • Current Medications
  • Pyjamas/Nighties/dressing gown/slippers
  • Comfortable casual clothing and footwear
  • Your own toiletries
  • Tissues
  • Enough money for incidentals

For baby

  • Child health care record (green book)
  • Current medications
  • Bottle teats, bottlebrush, formula, feeding cup and spoon
  • Pram
  • Disposable nappies
  • Nappy change lotion, bath lotion or pure soap (if desired)
  • Dummy (optional)
  • Clothes for entire length of stay
  • Baby wraps
  • Toys (babies must use their own toys and cannot share)
  • Any specific food items (if desired)

Please do not bring valuables into the hospital as we cannot be held responsible for any items or belongings that are damaged or go missing.

Visiting hours are flexibleand partner involvement is encouraged. Partner accommodation is available at anadditional cost. Please see attached PDF in the Download Information below.

Northpark Private Hospital’s New Parents Support Program is a 10 week Day Rehabilitation program specifically designed for parents who experience emotional distress/disorders associated with childbirth, adjustment and other child-related difficulties.

This program offers strategies and skills to assist new parents to deal with these emotional difficulties as well as equip them with the necessary skills to help support their infant’s health and wellbeing.

These include:

  • Managing depression and anxiety
  • Stress management and relaxation
  • Improving communication skills
  • Problem-solving and time management
  • Parent and infant relationship enhancement
  • Improving self-esteem
  • Exploring and enhancing support networks; and
  • Setting realistic expectations and goals.

This closed program runs throughout the year on Mondays. It is ideally suited for parents of babies up to one year of age. Parents are welcome and encouraged to bring their child with them. Parents of children aged one to five years of age may attend the program alone.

For more information or to refer please contact Day Program Intake on 03 9468 0177 or northpark.dayprogram@healthscope.com.au

Private health cover is recommended and a referral from your specialist or GP is required.

For parents experiencingdepression or anxiety after the birth of their baby, we can arrange an urgentoutpatient appointment with one of our Psychiatrists.

You will require a referralfrom your GP prior to making your appointment.

The referral can be sent to usvia:

Email: northpark.consulting@healthscope.com.au

Telephone: 03 9468 0110

Fax: 9468 0120

Day programs

An evidence-based parenting program that focuses on the emotional connection between parents and children and help parents teach and support their children to understand and express emotions in appropriate ways. In particular the program teaches parents skills in emotions in an accepting, supportive way. This approach helps the child to understand and manage their emotions.

Tuning into Kids information sheet

Designed for parents who experience emotional distress/disorders associated with childbirth, adjustment, and other child-related difficulties. This program suits parents of babies between birth – 1 year of age and are welcome and encouraged to bring their child with them. Parents of children 1-5 years of age may attend the program alone.

Early Parenting Program information sheet

A program designed to help caregivers build supportive and effective relationships with their children that can serve as a basis for lasting and pervasive change. This is a program that can assist parents experiencing challenges in parenting from infancy to 5 years of age.

Circle of Security information sheet

Download information:



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