The Morrison Government will provide $600,000 to the Miracle Babies Foundation to support families of premature and sick babies.
Every year in Australia, more than 48,000 newborn babies are cared for in a neonatal intensive care unit or special care nursery. Of these, 27,000 babies are born prematurely and tragically, up to 1,000 babies lose their fight for life.
Miracle Babies has offered a vital helping hand for 13 years, providing free and ongoing support for families of premature and sick babies. This is a mother-led movement that provides extraordinary help to parents as they experience the greatest of all challenges.
The Miracle Babies 24-hour helpline is staffed entirely by trained parent volunteers who themselves have had a preterm birth or sick newborn. They also provide free peer-to-peer support and education programs in 18 hospitals across Australia and ongoing support through specialised playgroups.
I am pleased that this funding will allow Miracle Babies to establish more services across Australia, providing families with the support they need at such a difficult time.
This investment means more families will be able to access free information resources and phone or in-person support from people who are not only trained to help, but who have been there themselves.
This announcement is on top of a $77.9 million the Liberal National Government is investing in the 2018-19 Budget to improve infant and maternal health outcomes, including measures to reduce the risk of preeclampsia, stillbirth and neonatal deaths.
Earlier this year, the Government released updated Pregnancy Care Guidelines to ensure health professionals have up-to-date and evidence-based recommendations on providing the highest quality of antenatal care for women.
Every year, the Government invests $4.5 million in the Pregnancy, Birth and Baby Helpline and website service, providing information, support and counselling for young families.