The Babes Project founder Helen Parker with graduate mama Lauren and her bub Willow.
It's a proverb from Africa, and one that resonates around the world - to raise a child, it takes a village.
We hear it as friends admonish each other for not seeking help in those tough early days of motherhood. We hear it as folks tut-tut 'young people' gone off the rails. We hear it as mums at the end of a long day dream of a nice village wine bar with a play pen!
But beyond the cliche, what does a "village" actually do - and how can it help as women in crisis pregnancy face a litany of challenges to keep and raise their bubs?
Can a village mentality even exist in our fast-paced, plugged-in, too-busy-to-care world?
At Babes, we're stepping up to say it - we are the village! And we're determined that our village will set the standard for supporting and empowering new mamas in our communities, and Australia-wide.Read more
We were shocked too, little one - fifty bubs already! Photo by Miranda Mayle at our Frankston centre.
September 17 marked a milestone for everyone here at Babes - bub number 50 this year came into the world!
And while little Addison-Maree - and every one of the 49 before her - is a miracle, we think it's just as miraculous to have hit the big 5-0 already!
But of course, we can't stay wide-eyed for long. There's too much still to be done!Read more
Image from Wonder Woman (2017), republished under fair use.
There’s no shortage of wonder women around The Babes Project, so when the Wonder Woman movie came out last month, more than a few of us were keen to see it!
Of course, superpowers are a bit beyond our reach – but there was one line in the film that rang familiar for our Babes team.
As the bad guy challenges Wonder Woman to abandon the world, he tells her that humanity “does not deserve you”.
“Deserve” is often a word that comes up for Babes too, as we appeal to the community to help our mamas.
Whether we’re asking for volunteers for our Equip a Mum campaign, or donations for a crowdfunding project, or even just sharing the Babes mission – “deserve” appears in many shapes and sizes.Read more
One of our favourite things to do at The Babes Project is to use tools to interact with and educate women throughout their pregnancy. And one of the best tools we have are our nappy bags. These are bags filled with all she needs for hospital. We also have a new mums basket to celebrate when bub is born. We'd love to invite you to help us equip her for birth and baby by packing a bag or basket.Read more
"People definitely judge me – after I left school, people from school were calling me up, shouting at me as I walked down the street, bullying me. I just laugh at them – they don’t know me, and know how different my life is now."
- Babes graduate and teen mama Lily (pictured)
Scan any mainstream media stories about young mothers, and the evidence piles up fast - there's a huge stigma attached to being a teenage mum.
While just a quarter of the mamas we work with at Babes are teenaged, it seems there's a public obsession with teen parents.
Too often, news coverage shouts criticism at these brave young people, rather than give them a voice.
When Seven News visited our Frankston centre earlier this month, they heard the stories of two of our young mamas - including 19-year-old Raechal, who said the hardest part of her journey had been the criticism and judgement she'd faced.
Worse that that, last year our survey of TBP participants found nearly 50 per cent faced social isolation - a feeling that isn't helped by slurs in the media, or on the streets.
Here at Babes, we're determined to change the conversation about the capability of young mamas - and ALL mamas - and you can help us.Read more
LIFT THEM UP: Mum-of-two TJ is determined her children will have the stability and safety she missed out on as a child.
It's overwhelming, we know.
In Victoria alone, police responded to more than 72,000 family violence incidents in 2015/16. In the same period, more than 107,000 child protection reports were filed with the state's Department of Human Services.
Behind the stats - broken lives, traumatised children, young people with the worst possible start to their lives.
When the damage and disadvantage are so devastating, it can be hard to see a way to even attempt to drive change.
But Babes graduate TJ is an inspiring example of how support - when and where it's needed most - can transform lives every day.Read more
(Photography by Miranda Mayle)
A lot can happen in 12 months – just ask any new mother!
And everyone at Babes marks the first thrilling year of our Frankston crisis pregnancy centre, 33 new and expecting mothers are especially celebrating the milestone.
That’s the number of local women who have been supported at the warm and welcoming space since it opened in Frankston, and who are still developing parenting skills and knowledge through its free perinatal care program.
Admit it - did you feel that little buzz of excitement last week?
You know, when the Australian Bureau of Statistics released its 2016 Census data!
Okay, maybe stats aren't everyone's cup of tea - but here at Babes, numbers are like gold.
The Census data confirms what we already know - and tells us even more - about the shape of the communities we serve.
It helps us decide how we can better ensure our services are best fit for Melbourne's east and south east, and maybe even what other areas could be crying out for crisis pregnancy support and perinatal care.
For instance, did you know that Frankston has one of Australia's highest proportions of single-parent households?Read more
Is it just us, or does this winter feel particularly cold and miserable?
(And not just the weather - although the mornings have been pretty grim!)
From downcast faces in the street, to the vicious national debate, and in news from around the world - suddenly, so much of it seems horribly depressing.
Whether it's the terrible London fire, or terrorism, or just folks who can't get along, social problems can feel completely overwhelming.
But at The Babes Project, we're working hard to help happy happen - and it's amazing the difference a bit of good news can make.Read more