The Health Station

Infant Allergy Prevention – How to Reduce the Risk of Developing a Food Allergy in Infants – 

by Dr. Rachel Barry


Did you know that an infant with severe eczema or immediate family history (1st degree relative) of allergies, is considered at risk of developing a food allergy?

Infants that already have an egg allergy and/or  severe eczema are at increased risk of developing a peanut allergy.
All infants should be given the common food allergens (peanuts, tree nuts, cow’s milk, egg, wheat, soy, sesame, fish and shellfish), introduced in any age appropriate form (eg smooth peanut butter/paste, cooked egg), before 12 months of age. This includes infants considered to have an increased risk of developing food allergy.
Infants who are already allergic to a particular food should NOT be given that food.
Introduce 1 new food at a time so if reaction occurs, the problem food can be more easily identified. If the food is tolerated continue to offer this as part of a varied diet.
Exclusion of particular foods from the maternal diet during pregnancy or breastfeeding is not recommended.
Contact your GP if you suspect your infant has a food allergy.
As a mum of three young tearaways, I understand the challenges of juggling a busy work/life schedule and making sure that the little ones get a little bit of everything in their diet. I have always tried to ensure variety mixing up natural yogurts, fruits, nuts, vegetables and yes, even a little candy now and then. All good things in moderation 🙂 While I am fortunate my little ones do not have any specific food allergies, I worked hard to introduce them to different food groups in stages to ensure I had the opportunity to identity problematic groups before they became a serious problem.

I’d be delighted to share what I’ve learned with you and I’m available Monday to Friday to discuss any concerns you may have.

Shingles – Just The Facts

by Dr. Rachel Barry


What Causes Shingles?
Shingles is caused by the Varicella Zoster virus, which is the same virus that causes Chickenpox. This virus can remain dormant, or asleep, in the body and can become active again, usually years later, causing Shingles.

Shingles starts as a painful rash on 1 side of the face or body. Other symptoms include feeling generally unwell with a fever. It is a blistering rash that will scab over the next 10 days approximately. It normally clears within 2-4 weeks. Sometimes a week before this rash appears, you may experience tingling, pain or itching in the area where the rash will appear.

Is It Contagious?
The virus is spread through direct contact with the fluid from the blisters. It is not spread through coughing or sneezing.

A person with active Shingles can spread the virus to a person who has never had Chickenpox.
Otherwise, Shingles cannot be passed from one person to another.

The risk of spreading the virus is lowered if the rash is covered.

As you get older your risk of Shingles increases. A FREE Government-Funded vaccination is available to everyone aged 70 years old. A catch up schedule is also available at present for people aged 71-79 years

As ever, if you have any queries or concerns contact your local doctor!

Renewed National Cervical Screening Program

by Dr. Rachel Barry


Welcome to The Station on Tanti, Family and Women’s Clinic in Mornington on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula. We are very excited that our first blog is on a topic very important to the health and wellbeing of all women. Today, and as our clinic has a particular interest in Women’s Health, I want to promote awareness of the Renewed National Cervical Screening Program as new changes are taking place on the 1st December 2017.

What you Need To Know
The two yearly Pap test for women aged 18 to 69 will change to a five yearly human papillomavirus (HPV) test for women aged 25 to 74

Despite these changes to the screening program it is important to note that you should attend your GP for review if you have any new symptoms such as abnormal bleeding either between periods or after intercourse, vaginal discharge or pain. This refers to women of any age despite the guidelines as you need to be reviewed  and examined by your GP.

Women will be due for the first Cervical Screening Test two years after their last Pap test. Until 1st December when these new guidelines take effect women ages 18 to 69 years should continue to have their pap tests when due.
It is also important to note that even if you have had a HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) vaccine in the past you will still require cervical screening. The reason for this is because the HPV vaccine does not protect you against all the types of HPV that may cause cervical cancer.

It is so important that we continue to promote HPV vaccination. A report from from 2013 show that the local Mornington Peninsula immunisation rates were at around 80%. This is good and above average but we can do better ladies!

In summary the changes to the screening program :

women will be invited when they are due their cervical screening to participate via the National Cancer Screening Register
The age of cervical screening commencement will increase from age 18 to 25 years
the Pap smear will be replaced with the more accurate Cervical Screening Test
the interval  between Negative tests will change from two to five years
The age of exit from the program will increase from 70 to 74 years
If you have any concerns or questions please contact our Mornington clinic or book an appointment with a member of our team and we will be happy to help. For further information and FAQ please follow this link on