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Tweddle News

Latest News

August 2017

New Workshops for Brimbank Parents, Babies and Toddlers

Posted:Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Author:Kerrie Gottliebsen

Tweddle has joined with Brimbank City Council’s Maternal and Child Health Service to deliver three new monthly parenting workshops commencing August 22nd.Families are invited to come along, make friends, ask questions and relax in a supportive environment designed to make learning about your baby or toddler fun and interesting. Read more...

July 2017

Mum Returns to Tweddle After 17 Years

Posted:Thursday, 27 July 2017

Author:Kerrie Gottliebsen

Mary O'Brien came to Tweddle 17 years ago struggling with a distressed baby, feeding issues and an overwhelming sense of uncertainty in her role as a new mum. This week she returned to the residential unit in her role as a Youth Support Worker caring for a teenage mother and her baby.Read more...

Tweddle prioritise education and research with new appointment

Posted:Monday, 24 July 2017

Author:Kerrie Gottliebsen

Tweddle’s role as early parenting and infant mental health educators enables us to share valuable research, insights and training with health professionals, academics and families. We're thrilled to announce Beverley Allen as Tweddle’s new General Manager of Professional Development, Education and Research (GM PDER). Here Beverley talks about Tweddle's recent and upcoming conference, training and academic activities.Read more...

Ben Carroll MP Members Statements highlights Tweddle in Parliament

Posted:Monday, 3 July 2017

Author:Kerrie Gottliebsen

Tweddle Board, management and staff and grateful to Ben Carroll MP, State Member for Niddrie and Parliamentary Secretary for Justice for acknowledging the work of Tweddle in Parliament on the 22nd of June. Mr Carroll MP attended Tweddle’s ‘Babies, Business and The Bottom Line’ business breakfast as part of Infant Mental Health Awareness Week to hear Western Bulldogs President Mr Peter Gordon and American Psychiatrist Dr Bruce Perry MD, explore resilience and the importance of investing in the very early years. Over 130 guests attended including the The Hon. Minister for Health Jill Hennessy MP, Danny Pearson MP Member for Essendon, Professor Ravi Savarirayan from the Murdoch Children’s research Institute, Christine Owen, Department of Health and Human Services and Peter Ewer, Department of Justice and Regulation. Read more...

June 2017

Don your active wear for Tweddle!

Posted:Thursday, 29 June 2017

Author:Kerrie Gottliebsen

Run Melbourne are celebrating their 10th year and The Tweddle Foundation are proud to announce their involvement. As part of the passionate team you can run or walk a distance of your choice – 5 km, 10 km or the half marathon. Any funds that you raise along the way will support The Tweddle Foundation, building a future for vulnerable mums, dads, babies and toddlers and a centre for early parenting excellence in Melbourne’s west. Joining our team is simple! Read more...


Mums of preschoolers still struggling with depression

Clinicians at Tweddle are not surprised by a recent Murdoch Children’s Research Institute study of 1500 mothers that found 10 per cent of women reported symptoms of depression a year after the birth of their first child but this increased to 15 per cent four years after the birth. Maternal depression is more common four years after the birth of a first child than at any time in the first 12 months postpartum, according to new research by Murdoch Children’s Research Institute.

Tweddle Psychologist Nikki Zerman said that “Tweddle plays an important role in providing support to parents with children up to school age. Often services (such as mother baby units) exclude parents once the child is 12 months. Factors such as isolation, financial concerns, expectations of what parenting would be like and relationship issues do not disappear once a child is past a certain age. We frequently see mums and dads in our service who have children at preschool age.”

Read the full story here or download the Media Release here (PDF)

Tweddle helping parents with much more than sleep reports The Sunday Age

Tweddle was recently interviewed by Miki Perkins for The Age around the important early intervention and prevention work provided by the Early Parenting Sector. It was a great opportunity to talk about the many challenges faced by parents and the misconceptions that still exist when it comes to the term ‘sleep schools’.

As covered in the story, all clients at Tweddle are screened for postnatal depression and almost half the mothers and a third of the fathers report a problem with their mood.

As well as help with sleep and settling, there are parenting classes at Tweddle on how to interact with your baby, services in Geelong, Terang and Bacchus Marsh, a program for women in prisons and friendship groups for parents with kids with a disability.

Reporter Miki spent time speaking with Tweddle mum Samantha Swann, 24, who has five-month-old twins – Jason and Isabella Vongvixay. ‘‘I always assumed sleep school was just a place you come to get help with sleep, but we’ve done lots of sessions on how to read your baby’s cues.’’ Samantha said.

When a parent rings Tweddle a member of the admissions team spends about half an hour going through a set of 80 questions to assess the situation.

It is often the first time the parent has been able to debrief. They might talk about having a traumatic birth, family violence, drug or alcohol issues, being an older parent or using IVF, says Tweddle communications manager Kerrie Gottliebsen.

‘‘There’s a grand landscape of stuff to wade through before we can simply say the baby’s not sleeping.’’

The strain that poor sleep places on relationships can have profound implications for both parent and child. Research into infant brain development shows good relationships promote brain cell growth, says Tweddle practice lead psychologist, Dr Kanthi Sayers.

In a very stressful family environment, babies don’t learn how to regulate their emotions and the physical growth of neural pathways can be stunted.

It was important that parents learn how to respond to baby cues and understand when they need to be picked up and cuddled, Dr Sayers says.

Tweddle uses a ‘‘responsive’’ style of settling, which doesn’t use timing and reacts to the level of distress in a baby’s cry.

It can be very daunting for an exhausted parent to sit alone in a room with a crying baby. At Tweddle they have someone at their elbow to help them through, says Sayers. ‘‘Being attuned to the baby’s needs is the most important thing’’.

The full story, including a video interview can be found here.


Neglect and early brain development. 


Tweddle recently posted a link to a story that reflected on the brain scan of a very neglected 3 year old.  This image has been used a lot to demonstrate the point that neglect causes impacts on the brain. This three year old would have had very little interaction with anyone for most of the day, every day.  The article overly emphasised the mother’s role, which is not helpful, not correct and not appropriate to many cultures. This is a very outdated view and Tweddle doesn’t agree with it.

We know now that brains grow through relationships with others, usually a few close and attentive caregivers. If a baby doesn't have enough interaction with others, key areas of their brain will be underdeveloped. Some of this can be made up if the baby is given extra attentive care as soon as possible. If it goes on for too long some of the impact might be permanent. But what is 'enough' and what is 'too long'? Babies who are left in prams or cots for most of the day and not spoken to or played with will suffer. Babies who have parents who are absent physically or emotionally (such as through depression) need someone else to interact with.

The most important thing is that a small group of important people have a lot of interaction with the baby. If you are concerned about your baby or yourself you need to seek some advice as soon as possible. You might be able to soldier on but your baby is less able to. 

If you or someone you know would needs support call PANDA 1300 726 306 Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636, or Tweddle Psychology Service during business hours on (03) 9689 1577 

Report finds investment and intervention crucial to the early years

The Benevolent Society has released a report to mark its 200th Anniversary that sounds a serious warning about the wellbeing of Australia’s children, and unsustainable future costs to fix social problems which can be prevented by more investment in support for families during children’s early years.  The report, Acting Early, Changing Lives: How prevention and early action saves money and improves wellbeing was launched by the Governor-General of Australia Her Excellency, the Honourable Quentin Bryce AC CVO.

Tweddle Media Release PDF here


Tweddle parenting program pilots in Macedon Ranges


In 2011, Tweddle and Macedon Ranges local health providers started meeting to identify service needs relating to young parents living in the area.  Twelve months of discussion saw representatives from Tweddle and local health groups Cobaw, Kyneton District Health and Macedon Ranges Shire Council form an alliance that combined strengths for the benefit of families living in the Macedon Ranges.  Subsequently in March 2013, an eight week pilot program called PlaySteps will commence for local families.


Download the pdf media release here


Help is at hand - The Herald Sun's story about support for families with a child with a disability


Caroline James reports, almost one in 10 children in Australia aged 5 to 14 have a disability and more than two thirds of them need help with daily activities, according to a report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The story includes Tweddle's MyTime as an important service helping parents. 


Download the article here



Tweddle and Western Health team up for parents in the west.

For the first time in 21 Years, parents of the 4,400 babies born every year at Sunshine hospital will have the opportunity to get the low down on pregnancy, birth and parenting at an Early Parenting Centre.   Western Health and Tweddle have joined forces to create a team that has the expertise to prepare parents for the journey towards parenthood.  The community based classes in an environment geared towards parenting proved popular with the first series of classes booking out quickly.   


Download the 'Tweddle and Western Health team up for parents in the west' media release

(74.8 kb pdf) here


Download the Maribyrnong Star News story here


Finding Solid Ground in Melbourne's West - from Christchurch to Yarraville

A series of serendipitous moments brought Tweddle's new Collaborative Program Manager to Australia.  Not long ago Brigid Jenkinson was helping attend to the walking wounded in Christchurch's earthquake ravaged city centre.  She's now managing the teams at Tweddle that support complex and vulnerable families.


Download the 'Finding solid ground in Melbourne's West-from Christchurch to Yarraville' media release (274k pdf) here


Read Brigid's story in the Footscray, Yarraville, Braybrook Star 2nd August 2011 here


MyTime@Tweddle Media Release

Tweddle knows it's not easy being a parent, it's been helping vulnerable parents and their children for over 90 years.  Throw in the challenges of having one or more children disabled or chronically ill and life can go from hard to extremely tough.  To help these parents, tweddle runs MyTime, weekly peer support groups located across Melbourne's west in Altona Meadows, Footscray, Hillside, Point Cook, Deer Park and Hoppers Crossing. 


Download the MyTime@Tweddle Media Release (274k pdf) here

See the Star News Group MyTime@Tweddle article here



Tweddle@Brimbank Parenting Program now helping families with older children

Tweddle Child + Family Health Service and Isis Primary Care are offering Vietnamese families parenting help with their 0-4 year olds through a weekly day program in Kings Park. The free service supports up to six families every Thursday and employs a Vietnamese bi-cultural family worker.  For information about the service call Tweddle@Brimbank on Thursdays on (03) 9356 0941 


Download the Tweddle @Brimbank media release (247k pdf)   here


Read the Tweddle@Brimbank story, Brimbank Leader Community News 24th May p5 here



 Please contact Communications Manager Kerrie Gottliebsen on (03) 8387 0623 for media enquiries or to interview a Tweddle member of staff.


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