Blog

Recognising our fabulous people

MKM20190720102243.jpgBabes Team July 2019. Photo by Miranda Mayle

“Volunteerism is the voice of the people put into action. 
These actions shape and mold the present into a future of which we can all be proud.” 
– Helen Dyer

There has never been any doubt here at The Babes Project, that our power is in the people who give so much time, passion and energy to care for some of our communities vulnerable young families.  Over the years our Babes community has thrived because of people who believe in the power of giving... and it is remarkable to see. 

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Amidst the crisis, help us write a better future

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Over the past ten years at The Babes Project, one of the most important things we have learnt about pregnancy and motherhood is that every family and parenting story is unique.

And wow, hard to think of a tougher time to start that story. 

But even in the face of a global pandemic, brave mamas continue to bring babies into this world - in many cases, cut off from support, with birth-partners shut out of the hospital, or even unable to hold their newborn as hospitals enforce distancing for mums who may be of carrying the virus. 

Our hearts are breaking for so many new mums, more isolated than ever by this crisis, and so many other tough circumstances. 

That's why we're working harder than ever - even as our centres stay temporarily closed - to connect with new mums, and make sure we can give them support remotely.

And our mama-life journal is a new way that you can help deliver that support.

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Can't hug them, can empower them - help mums in crisis this strange Mother's Day

MKM20190513121001.jpgIt's feels weird, right? Like, sure, we've all started to adapt to lockdown life, as much as it's driving us crazy - but a Mother's Day without hugs in every direction? That just seems wrong!

But is motherhood always as as big and warm and safe as a hug?

Of course we want it to be.

Every mother deserves to be surrounded by love and care - to thrive in motherhood, and to love and care for her baby.   

But across Australia, pregnant women and new mums are cut off from that vital support. 

No, not because of the pandemic - but make no mistake, this is a crisis. And we need your help to change it. 

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Before COVID-19, heartbreaking isolation was already the norm for too many mothers

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Photo: Miranda Mayle

 

If malevolent forces set out to break new mothers, they would probably design something like current COVID-19 situation. 

For so many women, those first days and weeks with an infant are the most vulnerable and overwhelming of their lives. 

Coronavirus means that every day around 850 women across Australia are taking new babies home to isolation, cut off from the usual procession of visitors, support, and encouragement. It feels weird, anxious, alienating, and not how so many people pictured their first days of parenting.

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1 Million for Mums - Jackie's story

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A NEW LIFE: Jackie was able to start over as she embraced motherhood with her little Cleo. Photograph by Miranda Mayle Photography.

As part of our 1 Million for Mums campaign in 2020, we're sharing the stories of some of the mamas The Babes Project has walked alongside. 

We began with Jackie, who stared down a tough past to build her daughter a beautiful future.  

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“I told him it was me or the drugs, and he ended up choosing the drug life – and I found out not long after that I was pregnant.”

It seemed like a nightmare scenario when Jackie discovered she was expecting in late 2018.

At 23, Jackie had used drugs and alcohol almost daily for eight years, trying to numb the pain of a traumatic childhood, and an adult life spiralling out of control.

“I knew I was doing really bad stuff, it had even gone to court but luckily charges were dropped and I was on a good behaviour bond,” she explains.

“I’d even had an overdose scare, I had to be resuscitated on a train.”

Although Jackie wanted to make changes, the traumatic death of her fiancé, and several toxic relationships, meant old habits were hard to kick.

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Here for each and every mama

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FOR ALL WOMEN: We're all about empowering new mamas at Babes - and it's something we want for every woman. Images by Miranda Mayle Photography

Babes is founded on the ideal of women working together, and just how strong our society could be if each and every woman was supported and empowered in her motherhood. 

But today's International Women Day - and the theme "Each for Equal" - starkly shows the inequalities still faced by so many women in Australia.

Women are more likely to face domestic violence when pregnant. One in five women experience perinatal depression. Primary caring can reduce earning capacity, and therefore independence. And in violent or abusive situations, children are too often turned hostages to make a woman stay. 

We're proud of how far we've come in the past decade of Babes - and of every woman who put her hand up to say that she wanted to own motherhood, and she wanted our support to do it.

But to achieve an equal society, we need to be able to tell woman that they can become a mother without becoming more vulnerable. 

It can happen, with the right support - and Babes needs your commitment to deliver it. 

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A million for mums - make your voice heard!

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Motherhood makes women more vulnerable.

It’s not something we want to acknowledge – as women, or as a society.

But it's true. 

Women are more likely to face domestic violence when pregnant. One in five women experience perinatal depression. Primary caring can reduce earning capacity, and therefore independence. And in violent or abusive situations, children are too often turned hostages to make a woman stay.

At Babes, we've seen all those situations - and so many more - undermine a new mother's confidence, her security, and her ability to grow connection with her newborn. 

But we've also seen how pregnant women and new mothers, rise from the toughest situations, and thrive in their motherhood. 

They just need support at that most crucial, and most vulnerable time. And record numbers of women are reaching out for it. 

But without The Babes Project - where would they turn?

With your help to raise $1 million, Babes is determined to let them know we'll always be here for them. 

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Join our mission to help mamas thrive

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BRIGHT FUTURES: Babes team with some of our inspiring program graduates, and their thriving little ones. Photograph by Miranda Mayle Photography.

Did you do it tough during pregnancy and early parenthood, and wished there'd been support for you?

Do you know the difference real support and connection 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 on a mission to help families thrive, by ensuring all women can access vital perinatal support. 

And across all our centres - in Croydon, Frankston and Cairns - we're looking for passionate volunteers who can commit to helping us achieve that vision. 

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Thanks is not enough

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WOW. 

There's not enough words to tell you how grateful we are. 

Our dream of The Babes Project Cairns has become a reality - and it's because of our incredible, generous and faithful Babes tribe. 

Together, we raised a huge $68,573 to ensure that our new Cairns centre not only opened, but it will thrive. 

We can say thank you a million times, but really, it's the work that will speak the most. 

 

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Cairns mamas, you're not alone!

MKM20190826115653.jpgNew Babes mama Hollie and bub Roxie know the journey is worth every step. Photo by Miranda Mayle Photography

Ever had that feeling that there's still so far to go?

It's 3000 km from Croydon to Cairns, and here at Babes right now, we're feeling every step of the journey!

No, of course we're not actually walking it - but establishing a new centre feels like a marathon (one of those ultra ones, through the deserts and for days!) 

And right now we're at that hardest last stretch, where a helping hand can make all the difference.

Our crowdfund goal for opening The Babes Project Cairns is getting closer - and we can make it, with your incredible support. 

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