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Make 2019 your year to make The Biggest Difference

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For too many Australian women, the experience of pregnancy and new motherhood puts them at their most vulnerable.

But with the right support at this crucial time, these vital months can also be the most transformative – for new mamas doing it tough, and for their babies.

When any of us think about how we impact the world, we want to know our offering will make the biggest difference possible. 

And at Babes, we truly believe that's our support program – therapeutic, responsive and on-going, through pregnancy and for the first year of baby’s life for any Australian mother that needs a hand up.

Now, through our campaign The Biggest Difference, The Babes Project invites all Australians to stand with our brave mamas, and be part of the transformation. That's right, it's time to tick off your biggest New Year's resolution - right now! (And it might even give your Christmas shopping a boost, too!)

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Sharing stories for a nation

“I had this view of what everyone else thinks that motherhood should be like, or what it has to be like, and I definitely didn’t fit."

It's a story we hear so often at the Babes - of women told they're not good enough, not prepared enough, not right for motherhood. 

And in this era of comparison and competition at the swipe of a news feed, it doesn't take much for pregnant mamas to internalise the message - "everyone else is doing it right, and I'm doing it wrong".

At Babes, we know there's a million ways to approach motherhood - and not the critics, nor the glossy magazines, nor even super-expensive cot companies that have the right to claim the "right" one.

In our video Motherhood Moments, pregnant teenager Emily shares how isolating it felt to be outside of the “traditional” image of motherhood - and how hearing about other mums like her changed everything.

“Just being with The Babes Project, learning more about other people’s stories and how I’m not the only one, I feel a lot more confident in myself.”

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Help at hand as Emma answers the call

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ANSWERING THE CALL: Emma Enticott is Babes' Triage and Interstate Support Worker, making our new national phone service possible.  

She’s been a calm queen of the birthing suite for more than 13 years, but Melbourne midwife Emma Enticott is determined to help new mothers beyond labour, too.

A dedicated volunteer with Babes the past two years, Emma is now a force for transformation at the frontline, as we expand our service nationally this week!

So what better time to hear from Emma about her journey with mamas, and about how she's approaching being a support for pregnant women right across Australia.

“I was a nurse before I was a midwife, and I really found my niche in the labour ward, working with women and families at such a significant time in their lives,” Emma explains.

“I think I started out a bit naïve, that if the birth experience was positive, that would set up strong connection and parenting – but it’s not always so simple.”

“There’s so much more that can work against new mothers feeling confident and supported – and Babes has given me the chance to work in that space, too.”

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Supporting a nation starts with Babes

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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. 

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First-time forum inspires a new conversation

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INSPIRING STORIES: Our incredible panel of big-impact mums, moderated by amazing ABC Babytalk presenter Penny Johnston. Photography by Miranda Mayle

Can we be super-honest for a moment, Babes tribe?

Truth is, when we decided just before Easter that The Babes Project should put on a forum to coincide with Mother's Day, we weren't sure what we were getting into. 

We'd never put on a forum before. We didn't know who we'd get to speak. We didn't know if anyone would show up!

But then, everything we do at Babes is about a taking leap of faith - with the right support in place, of course! So once we had the idea for a day-long discussion on empowered motherhood, leadership, and a better society for all women, there was no choice but to forge ahead. 

And wow, aren't we glad that we did! The Rewriting Motherhood Forum delighted, informed, and most importantly inspired - and we can't stop thinking about everything we learned. 

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Rewriting Motherhood - one year on, so many to go!

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Were you with Babes when we launched our Rewriting Motherhood book at Parliament House?

Hard to believe this week marks a whole year since that exciting day - and whether you were by our sides then, or you've joined our journey since, May 10 still stands tall as a milestone day for our movement for mamas!

Surrounded by politicians and power brokers, movers and shakers, The Babes Project stepped in and stood up alongside our reason for being - the mothers we work with, support, and empower. 

These brave mamas had already shared their tough and tender stories in Rewriting Motherhood. On May 10 they fronted up - bubs in tow! - to own and celebrate them as we launched the book. 

You wouldn't think of Parliament House as the most comfortable place to talk about the fear and overwhelm of a crisis pregnancy. Or the exhaustion of a screaming baby, when there's no support, no back-up, no one coming to help. 

But somehow, Babes transformed that place of politics and power struggles, to a warm, welcoming, safe space for our mothers. And a year on, the transformation is ongoing - and we're not stopping at Parliament. 

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Our gorgeous Babes nursery, recreated in Queen's Hall at Victorian Parliament House, as part of the Rewriting Motherhood launch and exhibition in May 2017. 

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Mark Mother's Day by empowering mamas!

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The mainstream image of Mothers’ Day is a never-changing scene – fluffy slippers and dressing-gowns, a steaming cuppa, angelic and well-groomed little people clamouring, a devoted husband overseeing delivery of hot breakfast.

Yet the ever-evolving realities of motherhood couldn’t be more diverse, or less fluffy!

At Babes, we are constantly awed by the mountain-moving mamas growing and transforming their roles in big and small business, in leadership, in activism, and at home.  

So this Mother's Day, we're determined to celebrate, discuss, and empower motherhood in all its forms – alongside mothers from all walks of life. And you're invited! 

On Friday, 11 May 2018, join us for our inaugural Rewriting Motherhood forum, a one-day event for mothers to engage, network, and share their experiences and their inspiration.

At Waterman Business Centre at Caribbean Park (44 Lakeview Dr, Scoresby), the forum will feature high-profile mothers Jamila Rizvi (journalist and author of Not Just Lucky and The Motherhood) and Emma Race (ABC Grandstand presenter and creator of Help Me Help You app).

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Together we’re so much better

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At The Babes Project, every day we see the huge difference we’re making to women facing crisis pregnancy, and their families, and communities.

Across our 18-month free program of regular support and relentless love, we witness our perinatal care transform women - from overwhelmed, scared, vulnerable and desperate in their early pregnancy, to confident, secure, and prepared for loving motherhood. 

Our unique therapeutic support model is empowering, and can help halt the cycle of poverty, insecurity and trauma that undermines the healthy development of so many children.

Babes can make this massive impact thanks to generous and ongoing giving from our incredible tribe of supporters.

And it’s not enough that we see the difference we make – we want every one of you to see it too!

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Women celebrating women - and then some!

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A couple of our Mamas and their gorgeous bubs on IWD2018, celebrating with Helen and Jordan. Photography by Miranda Mayle.

It's a common joke that the opposite is true in the big bad world, but here at The Babes Project, it really does feel like every day is International Women's Day.

That's because, every day we get to see first-hand the incredible fierceness, tenacity and capacity of our Mamas, when they're finally supported and allowed to embrace themselves, and their motherhood.  

BUT, we never mind an excuse to share their stories and success with a crowd - or crack the champers in their honour! (And of course, to remind everyone of just how far we have to go, to ensure every pregnant woman can be empowered for motherhood.)

So it was on International Women's Day Eve, Wednesday 7 March, that we gathered our community supporters, sponsors, health care partners, media and Babes family, for a Brunch and Bubbles event to celebrate Babes!

Even more exciting, the brunch was a chance to announce our newest family member! Jordan Ablett is already an amazing young woman, as an integration aide, model, community advocate and wife to AFL player Gary Ablett - now she's stepping into another spotlight as a Babes Ambassador.

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Time to change the world with us!

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Three of our gorgeous-hearted Babes volunteers, Em, Amy and Holly. 

Did you have that feeling of overwhelm during pregnancy and early parenthood, and wished there'd been support for you?

Do you know the difference a helping hand can make when women are at their most vulnerable?

Or do you just want a world where new mothers get the best support possible?

The Babes Project is here for women facing crisis pregnancy – and we can’t help them without people like you.

If you can make time in 2018, Babes has so many ways we can use it - and so many lives to change. 

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