Melbourne Paediatric Specialists

 

Ms. Michele Meehan

Clinical Nurse Consultant, Infant feeding and settling
Michele Meehan - Clinical Nurse Consultant, Fussy Babies Clinic

Ms. Michele Meehan

R.N. R.M. M.C.H.N. Dip CHN. Grad DIP Hlth Ed. Cert Counseling & Psychotherapy.
Mst Hlth Sc. (Parent & Infant Mental Hlth.)

Maternal & Child Health Nurse

Clinical Interests

Helping Infant and parents in establishing positive routines in feeding, sleeping, and addressing crying behaviour.

Special interest in infant feeding problems.
Feeding fussiness, feeding refusal, introductions of solids and food and oral aversion.

Background and experience

Michele Meehan is a Maternal & Child Health Nurse who has worked at the Royal Children’s Hospital for 30 years as a Clinical Nurse Consultant (Maternal & Child Health). This has involved consulting and managing children’s care in all areas of the hospital, General medicine, cardiac, respiratory, post operative and emergency department, particularly with breast and bottle-feeding issues. She has worked with the Infant Mental Health team with irritable babies and the Multidisciplinary Feeding Clinic.

Her Masters’ Thesis was titled “He won’t Eat!. Developing a model for Treatment for Infant feeding Refusal” based on the work of her independent feeding Clinic. She regularly provides education to nurses and other health professionals as well as parents, on feeding issues and is recognized as an expert by her peers.

She regularly presents work at international and national conferences especially at the World Association for Infant Mental Health Congresses (WAIMH), and has been invited speaker to national and local symposiums.

Michele completed her general nurse training at the Royal Children’s Hospital in 1970. After working for the Australian Inland Mission in the Kimberley for 2 years, undertook Midwifery training at Crown St Hospital in Sydney. She completed a Diploma in Community Health Nursing (Maternal & Child Health Nursing) in 1976 and worked as Director of a Child Care Centre for 4 years. Returning to the Royal Children’s Hospital in 1984 she started consulting with the developing Infant Mental Health team and subsequently undertook studies in Counseling and Psychotherapy and Health Education to complement this work. She obtained a Masters in Health Science (Parent & Infant Mental Health) from University of Melbourne in 2008.

In 2008 she established a private practice, Parenting Matters specialising in feeding problem. Referrals to the practice were from Maternal & Child Health Nurses, pediatricians and GP’s as well as allied health. She provided extensive education forums to Maternal & Child Health Nurses, Regional Councils and local Mothers groups.

In 2009 Michele was awarded the Annual Mary Patten Award from the Royal Children’s Hospital, for “outstanding leadership and commitment to patient and family centred care”.

Practice Philosophies

Michele is committed to assisting parents to feel confident and skilled in their parenting style. Any concern expressed by a parent is valid and warrants discussion. She particularly values working in a multidisciplinary environment and is experienced in collaborative work with medical staff and allied health professionals, including lactation consultants, maternal and child health nurses, speech therapists, and mental health professionals.

Research Interests

Michele was part of the Irritable Infant Intervention Study undertaken in 2006 by General Paediatrics, Gastroenterology and Mental Health, comparing drug treatment for reflux and a comprehensive psychosocial approach. Her Masters on Infant Food Refusal led to establishing a Tube weaning program, and a Multidisciplinary feeding Clinic. She has written parent information booklets on Feeding issues, Separation anxiety and the role of Infant Mental Health in Nursing practice.

Publications, Handouts & Booklets →

  • The Hall of Mirrors Winning essay in the Australian Assoc. for Infant Mental Health Anne Morgan Essay Prize 2014 Published in National AAIMH Newsletter
  • Parent Booklets: Infant Feeding Issues, Starting Solids, the Clingy Infant, Working with the Infant. Parenting Matters 2010
  • In Nurse’s Consulting Room Part 2:7 1-4 Meehan M. in The baby as Subject Thomson–Salo F. Paul C. Editors. Editions 1-3 2007-2014
  • Infant feeding :Breastfeeding. Paediatric Handbook :Royal Children’s Hospital 2013.
  • Your Fussy feeder: A Management Plan. Handout for the Emergency department at Royal Children’s Hospital 2012
  • Ralf G Heine, Brigid Jordan, Michele Meehan, Anthony G Catto-Smith and Lionel Lubitz. Effect of antireflux medication, placebo and infant mental health intervention on persistent crying: A randomized clinical trial Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health  Volume 42 Page 49 – January 2006

Presentations →

  • WAIMH 2004 Pre Congress Institute IV. The Sick Baby Presenters: Peter Scheer and Marguerite Dunitz-Scheer, Michele Meehan, Gordon Baikie, Campbell Paul, Sue Morse, Miri Keren
  • WAIMH Japan 2008 They Won’t eat! Observing the infant’s contribution in the feeding relationship as the driver of change. Michele Meehan
  • Hold Me Tight! Intervention for the Clingy Infant WAIMH Congress Leipzig 2010
  • Why won’t she eat? Tackling infant food refusal. Australian Assoc for Infant Mental Heath Conference Brisbane 2010
  • Weaning… the struggle to let go. Queen Elizabeth Conference Melbourne 2012
  • Is Breast Best? The role of Breastfeeding in establishing an attachment relationship Poster Workshop at WAIMH Conference Edinburgh 2014
  • AUSMED Conference 2014. Infant Mental Health for Nurses. Convened and Chaired this conference. Papers presented Crying Irritability & Controlled crying. Infant Mental Health in Nursing Practice.

Public Hospital Affliations

  • The Royal Children’s Hospital,

Specialty

Clinical Nurse Consultant – Infant Feeding & Settling
– Fussy Feeding→
– Fussy Baby Clinic→

Private Practice

Parenting Matters