MECSH Trial Outcomes

The randomised trial of the MECSH program demonstrated that children, mothers and their families who received the program achieved the following impacts and outcomes:

New mothers

  • tended to be more likely to experience a normal, unassisted vaginal birth;
  • felt significantly more enabled and confident to care for themselves and their baby;
  • had significantly better self rated health;
  • could name two or more measures to reduce cot death risk.

Children

  • were breastfed for longer;
  • had improved cognitive development, particularly for children of mothers who were recorded as having psychosocial distress antenatally;
  • were more engaged with their mother.

Mothers of infants and toddlers

  • tended to have a better experience of being a mother, particularly for mothers who were recorded as having psychosocial distress antenatally and mothers who were born overseas;
  • provided a home environment that was supportive of their child’s development through improved verbal and emotional responsiveness, providing a more organised environment, providing developmentally appropriate play materials and greater parental involvement.

Drawing by a child of the MECSH Trial aged 4 years

 Drawing by a child of the MECSH Trial aged 4 years