Baby Makes 3 is health promotion initiative that provides support to new parents and shapes attitudes and social norms by challenging outdated gender expectations of becoming a parent.
We promote equality in parenting through our programs directly for new parents, and through initiatives that increase the capacity of universal settings (local governments, maternal and child health services and public antenatal services) to integrate gender equality principles, practices and structures within perinatal services.
This page contains information, tools and resources for
Maternal and child health and maternity services staff
Maternity and midwifery education deliverers
Community organisations working in child health
Where and how we work towards gender equality
How do I learn more about the Baby Makes 3 program?
Free From Violence Second Action plan
In December the Baby Makes 3 program was featured in the launch of the Free From Violence Second Action Plan, published by the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing.
The Second Action Plan marks the mid-point of Victoria’s 10-year plan.
The below video explains how Baby Makes 3 works to build equal and respectful relationships for families who are becoming parents for the first time, and highlights its focus on challenging the rigid gender stereotypes and social norms associated with parenting.
Strengthening Gender Equality in Antenatal and Maternity Services Project
Participation in the project is a great way for health services to meet obligations under the Gender Equality Act as highlighted by Victoria’s Gender Equality Commissioner Dr Nikki Vincent in the project launch webinar (24 June 2021).
Feature article - Australian Midwifery News
Baby Makes 3 was recently featured in the Autumn 2022 edition of Australian Midwifery News, a publication by the Australian College of Midwives.
The article by Baby Makes 3 Program Manager Anita Thomas details how the program works with partners and public maternity and antenatal services across Victoria to deliver healthAbility's 'Applying a Gender Equality Lens to Childbirth and Parenting Education' training to midwives, childbirth and parenting educators, program coordinators, and maternity, clinical and community program project staff and managers.
It highlights how the training enables maternity and antenatal services to embed gender equality principles as standard practice so they can challenge gendered expectations of parenting, and promote equal and respectful relationships in families, and more broadly in local communities. Read the full article.
2021 Year in Review
In 2021 Baby Makes 3 continued to support families through the transition to parenthood by partnering with antenatal and maternity services and maternal and child health services across metropolitan and regional Victoria.
We also expanded our support for families from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) backgrounds by training more multicultural and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Champions and facilitators.
View the 2021 Year in Review.
The 2019-20 Antenatal Initiative
Learn about the model and strategies we developed for integrating gender equality principles and approaches in antenatal practices.
This initiative included co-designing and trialing with 6 public antenatal services across Victoria. The strategies ranged from simple cost-effective changes, to reviews of policies, physical environment and health information.
Gender Equality Commission Case Study
A case study on the Victorian Gender Equality Commission website describes a partnership with Northern Health highlighting that through their involvement in the co-design project (2019/20), they have been able to complete and subsequently act on a Gender Impact Assessment of aspects of antenatal and maternity services. View the full case study on the Gender Equality Commission website.
2016 Baby Makes 3 Evaluation Report
This report collated the findings of a three-part evaluation of the Baby Makes 3 group-based program for parents. It demonstrates the effectiveness of Baby Makes 3 in changes to parents’ attitudes to gender roles and gender equality, shown by changes in behaviours at home.