Parentcraft Services

Parentcraft Services is a free-standing Unit, forming part of the Obstetric Department and situated at Level 1, Block E, Mater Dei Hospital. 
The Mission of Parentcraft Services is "Education and Support".
Education is mainly carried out through courses offered to expectant clients/couples, but also in the form of Post natal sessions (alias reunions), which serve as an educational tool as many queries are answered and information straightened out during these meetings.
In late 2011, were also introduced the very popular sessions for Grandparents. Furthermore, a number of ad hoc sessions are also offered, while Education also includes sessions for student nurses/midwives, secondary or post-secondary students.
Parentcraft Courses include: Early Pregnancy Courses (starting from 10 weeks pregnancy) and Childbirth Courses (usually starting from 28 – 30 weeks pregnancy). The latter are also available for specific groups, including English Speaking Clients, parents with other children (Refresher), Couples expecting Multiples, and School-age clients (held at Ghozza).
Courses are offered in the morning, afternoon and evening.  This includes weekdays, Saturdays, Sundays and even Public Holidays.  Most times, 2 or more concurrent sessions are held. As can be expected, the most popular lectures are those held in the evenings, weekends, and on Sunday mornings, with the latter having 4 or even 5 concurrent sessions. Evening, weekend, and Sunday groups are considerably large, with an average of 18-22 couples per group.
Furthermore, there has been a considerable increase in one-to-one sessions.  These include clients with special needs, e.g. partner abroad, single mothers with problems, social problems, drug abuse, low IQ; deaf/dumb; pre-adoptive parents; etc.
Other sessions are also held regularly, in liaison with other Units/Departments. These include sessions about Dental Care, Standards of Childcare Centres, Stem Cell Collection, Speech and Language Development, Healthy Weight in Infants and Toddlers, etc.
Besides lectures at MDH, Parentcraft Education is also offered through the Media, through various professional handouts and booklets, and through active participation and organization of conferences for the general public.
Furthermore, an innovative project is the “Mother and Child module” being presently offered to 175 MCAST Students.
Furthermore, Parentcraft Services Support has a very popular Support Tel. Helpline - 2545 5124, where clients can call in, to ask help for any problem, both during pregnancy or after delivery. The telephone helpline is open to all, including those who have never attended, relatives, and anyone wishing to make use of this service.  Calls vary from brief ones enquiring about the courses or about their applications, to complicated and intense ones, sometimes requiring referral to other Departments/Units.
There has also been a significant increase in one-to-one counselling sessions, presenting mostly with pregnancy-related, emotional, or social issues, the latter many times requiring referral to the Social Work Unit. We also have the possibility of referral for Familiy Therapy.
Furthermore, Parent Craft Services works in close liaison with various Services and Departments, including:   Ghozza (Education Department – formerly called School Girl Mothers Unit), Il-Benniena and Homestart (Social Services); SANDS (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society) and the Bereavement Midwife; ABC (Association of Breastfeeding Counsellors) and Breastfeeding Walk-In Clinic; Caesarean Support Group, TIPS (Tiny Infant Parent Support); Multiple Connection, Richmond Foundation, Institute of Familty Therapy (IFT), SEDQA, Midwives Association, Health Promotion Unit, Faculty of Health, Institute for Further Studies, MCAST, etc 
Parentcraft Services also has a generic email - that serves both for Education and for Support purposes, while arrangements are being made to offer a Facebook page.
Many more projects are in the offing, including Early Pregnancy Courses for Teenage Mums-to-be which will start in November/December 2013. These specific courses will be offered on Sunday mornings, so that they will not interfere with school. The father-to-be and both sets of parents are all invited to attend.
Various talks are also being held with the Education Department, and with other Departments and Organisations, further optimizing the already sterling service being provided to the Maltese Public.