CfC FP ObjectiveHealthy young families
Supporting families and parents
Delivered toUniversal – new parents in the immediate post-birth period
Delivered byTrained facilitators - parenting support workers, community support workers, health promotion staff, Maternal and Child Health Nurses. The program must be led by a male and female facilitator.
Delivery settingCommunity-based
Program developerhealthAbility

About the program

Baby Makes 3 (BM3) is a unique, evidence-based health promotion and social change initiative. It builds understanding, appreciation and mutual respect among first-time parents to foster equal and healthy relationships that optimise collaborative co-parenting of infants and children.

Program structure

Baby Makes 3 is a three-week (3 x 2 hours) discussion-based program for first time parents that focuses on maintaining equal and respectful relationships after the birth of a baby.

Parents attend three evening or weekend sessions with their babies, with 6 – 12 other families. The program is co-facilitated by a male and female facilitator, who have successfully completed healthAbility’s facilitator training. Baby Makes 3 also has an antenatal session and activities that can be delivered through Childbirth and Parenting Education programs.

BM3 recognises the diversity of Victorian families and the importance of cultural safety and also offers adaptions of Baby Makes 3 - Balit Booboop Narrkwarren and Building Strong Families. Supporting families from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, culturally and linguistically diverse, rainbow and regional communities, through direct engagement and program co-design is a central focus of BM3. The program can be tailored to the needs of different communities in consultation with healthAbility.

Broader organisational capacity building activities that focus on embedding gender equality into practice and organisational systems is an additional component of BM3.

Facilitator training

Training is required to run the program. A partnership with healthAbility provides access to BM3 resources and support including training for facilitators and guidance around program monitoring, evaluation and ongoing quality control. Contact the organisation for further information.


For information about pricing, contact the organisation directly.

Evaluation and effectiveness

The program was evaluated in 2011 (Flynn, 2011). Participation in the program improved parents’ awareness of how traditional attitudes to gender and parenting norms were shaping their new families and relationships. Participants also reported greater understanding of partners’ roles and greater support for equality in their relationships.

A more recent evaluation that involved participant interviews showed that parents positively engaged with gender-equitable parenting practices as a result of the tools and resources offered in the program (Keleher & Hutcheson, 2015).


Flynn, D. (2011). Baby makes 3: Project evaluation report. VicHealth and Whitehorse Community Health Services LTD: Melbourne.

Keleher, H. & Hutcheson, E. (2015) Baby Makes 3 - Final Report. Melbourne: Keleher Consulting for Carrington Health.