We've proven our approach for supporting women facing crisis pregnancy - now we're taking our successful model national.
That's right - The Babes Project is now for pregnant women and new mums right across Australia! And wow, our expansion comes as demand for perinatal support skyrockets.
From today, we're launching new national services, building on nine years working with hundreds of women facing tough situations in Melbourne’s east and south-east.
The new support is mobile and flexible, and driven by our passion to get all young families access to the best possible start to life.
Over the next week, we'll be sharing all the details of two big initiatives to grow our free service, and celebrating the support we can now offer to all pregnant women.
Sound big? It should! Because The Babes Project is hugely serious about ensuring no new mother has to go it alone.
BIG LOVE: Recent TBP graduate Ashlee with little Liam - now all new mums can access the empowering support Ash had.
Our two big national initiatives are:
The Babes Project App: A free smartphone app developed in Melbourne, offering timely information about pregnancy stages and the first year of baby’s life, as well as key Australian contacts and services, an interactive calendar, photo diaries, and experiences shared by other mothers. The App is based on The Babes Project existing perinatal program, which supports women through pregnancy, and for the first crucial year of their baby’s life.
The Babes Project National Triage: A dedicated midwife, based at The Babes Project Croydon hub, to provide on-phone support, advice and recommendations for local service providers, as well as provision of some baby goods. This Triage and Interstate Support Worker will provide on-going care as individually required, and can replicate weekly appointments within the face-to-face perinatal program.
As App and National Triage users sign on, they'll be joining more than 600 women who have already gained confidence, determination and joy in their motherhood with support from Babes.
In recent years, women who have approached TBP for support have reported mental health issues, social isolation, drug and alcohol habits, and domestic or family violence fallout - and without The Babes Project, they would go through a fraught pregnancy with little support in their battles, and with no practical or emotional preparation for bub's arrival.
Our national approach follows what's been the biggest year yet for Babes - in 2017/18, we had 243 referrals, with 139 women joining the perinatal program.
But across Australia, countless pregnant women do go through those nine months without support – so The Babes Project is stepping up to fill the gap.
Our founder Helen Parker sees the App and National Triage initiatives were vital to expanding TBP’s services now, and for future growth.
“Our 21-month perinatal program offers something that bureaucratic health systems, over-stretched social workers, and an often judgmental society can’t give these vulnerable new mothers – holistic, empowering and nurturing support,” Helen said.
“Sad to say, countless mothers haven’t had access to this sort of service – and that’s in the face of growing evidence to say that intervention in that crucial perinatal period can make a life-long difference.”
We regularly get queries from women facing crisis pregnancy in regional Victoria and interstate, and we're excited to finally have a basic support structure in place for women outside Melbourne.
“So often, we hear from the mothers we’re supporting, that just having someone to call, and the right advice at the right time, made all the difference to what they were going through – The Babes Project wants to make that difference for every new mama doing it tough.”
In May 2018, we changed its status from Incorporated Association to Company Limited by Guarantee, to pave the way for national operation - and now the App and National Triage will finally give so many women a way into our support services, and into the Babes family.
Needless to say, we're excited - and we hope you are too! Our national launch means there's never been a better time to help Babes help mamas - we'd love you to show your support through our donation page, or as we celebrate the launch on social media. Thanks for cheering us on to this point - we can't wait to share what the mamas of Australia can achieve!
GETTING SERIOUS: Babes couldn't be more serious about getting support to new mothers doing it tough across Australia.