SLEEPLESS nights could be a thing of the past for new parents, with plans underway to open a Karitane centre in Orange.
The Karitane program, which has been operating in Australia for close to 100 years, is designed to assist families who need help with their baby’s feeding, sleeping and behaviour.
Local obstetrician Ron Vaughan is one of a group of health care professionals campaigning for a Karitane centre in Orange to service the central west and work alongside NSW Health using a model already established in Sydney.
The group has called itself eKwip (establishing Karitane-West infrastructure project).
Dr Vaughan said the centre would initially operate as a day centre and eventually offer residential care.
“We hope to open to day centre within the next 12 months,” he said.
“At the moment we’re trying to rally support from community groups to get behind this project.”
Dr Vaughan said money raised locally would be given to Karitane’s head office, which would have staff involved in establishing the Orange centre.
Dr Vaughan said one of the key issues was ensuring the centre could employ adequate staff with Karitane training.
He said securing the centre for Orange would mean parents from throughout the region would be able to get the help they needed, when they needed it.
“After the overwhelmingly emotional time of having a baby, especially the first, the reality of being home with an unsettled child can be a major difficulty,” he said.
“After the first two weeks the grandparents have left, the free meals stop coming and dad goes back to work. The house can suddenly feel very empty and a crying child is physically and emotionally draining and perhaps even traumatic.
“Postnatal depression, marital disharmony, domestic emotional and physical violence are all too real as a result.
“Postnatal depression affects one in seven women and one in 10 men.”
The group is undecided where the facility will be located but are considering a site at Orange Health Service.
eKwip will be launched at the Australian National Field Days at Borenore from October 16 to 18 and a public meeting will be held at the CWA Hall in Robertson Park on October 17 from 7pm.