Virtual Shared Medical Appointments

Parents with babies in the first year of life are now able to receive online support for breastfeeding and sleep in an online group setting. Both the parent and baby need to be registered with Medicare Australia.
We will use Zoom to run shared medical appointments for a group of up to 6 families each week. We will address breastfeeding over two group sessions one week, and sleep over two group sessions the next week. Families need to book in and commit to both sessions in that one week.

We will ask you to give consent to a privacy declaration prior to the commencement of the V-SMA and also an agreement for us to submit a claim to medicare. By booking to participate, we expect that you are agreeing to give consent and willing to attend both days.

There may also be another registered health professional observing your shared session. Observation of clinical sessions is a requirement of our health professionals that are completing Neuroprotective Developmental Care Accreditation. We appreciate your assistance in helping these health professionals complete their training so we can expand our network of NDC Accredited Practitioners.

Breastfeeding Week

  • For women in the first weeks of life establishing breastfeeding, through to those women looking to wean. 
  • We cover all issues associated with breastfeeding, pumping, and bottle feeding (whether formula or breastmilk). 
  • We ask that only you are in the room during the V-SMA. The capacity to move your own camera may be useful for us as you breastfeed.
  • We do request that you leave your video on throughout the V-SMA so that you are visible. 
  • Set up on a couch that gives you plenty of room on either side (so that you and the baby are not constrained by chair-arms), with a low footstool the height of a toddler’s toilet training stepstool for your feet. You will also need one or two firm cushions.

Sleep Week

  •  For parents who may be experiencing unmanageable patterns with their babies’ sleep. 
  • We will cover The Possums Sleep Program across the 2 days – an evidence-based approach to baby sleep that is NOT sleep training and which doesn’t require babies to cry.
  • You are able to have your partner come to this session also.
  • We do request that you leave your video on throughout the V-SMA so that you are visible. 

Dr Pamela Douglas and Ms Renee Keogh

Dr Pam and Renee run appointment weekly at 11.30am on Tuesday and Thursdays. These alternate between Breastfeeding and Sleep.
You can read Dr Pam and Renee’s bios on our Online Consultation page.

Dr Marlo Roberts and Ms Robyn Fitzgerald

Dr Marlo and Robyn run appointments fortnightly sleep groups at 9am on Tuesday and Thursdays.
You can read Dr Marlo and Robyn’s bios on our Online Consultation page.

Please Note: There is significant demand for appointments.
They are only able to be booked 6 weeks in advance – if you cannot see any appointments available the V-SMA is currently booked out.

We will fill cancellations as they arise. If you need further support sooner please consider an individual appointment with one of our practitioners.

About Virtual Programmed Shared Medical Appointments

These groups are ’Virtual Programmed Shared Medical Appointments’ (V-SMAs). The Possums Clinic Online is part of a collaboration with Professor Garry Egger and Associate John Stevens of the Lifestyle Medicine Society, and the other teams delivering and evaluating V-SMAs in Australia, and we are actively engaged in the international SMA movement. The Possums Clinic Online and our NDC accredited practitioners uniquely provide V-SMAs in evidence-based care of breastfeeding and sleep problems.

FAQs

What if my baby is not yet registered with Medicare?

Unfortunately at this time we are unable to include you in the SMAs until the baby is registered. Please consider seeing Renee Keogh, Dr Pamela Douglas, or one of our other NDC accredited practitioners for one on one compassionate, evidence-based breastfeeding support, until the baby is registered.

Can I attend just one day?

Sorry, it has to be a commitment to the two sessions that week! This is because it will take a little while to get to know you and your baby and what’s going on in the first session. It will take the whole two sessions to offer you and the others thorough support and information.

Can I attend one breastfeeding one and one sleep one?  

No – the same parent needs to attend both days within the one week, women for the breastfeeding and one or both parents for the sleep. But you can book into a breastfeeding and a sleep week, 4 sessions altogether, if you wish!

What will happen during the V-SMA? 

We take a brief and relevant history from each participant and note the topics of concern for that family on the Tuesday. We then address these questions or concerns to the entire group. We welcome questions and comments along the way.  Thursdays will allow us to check in on progress, answer questions that have arisen, and go over topics we may not have covered on Tuesday.