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?
Or that, after the western suburbs, the Mornington Peninsula has more teen mothers per capita than any other Melbourne region?
Here at Babes, we also collect data - to ensure we're making maximum impact possible for our mums and their bubs.
For instance, of the 400-plus women we've supported:
- Three-quarters are first-time mothers,
- Nearly one-quarter are teenaged,
- One in four has experienced family violence,
- More than one in three has a history of drug and alcohol abuse,
- More than three-quarters have experienced mental health issues.
Even without these challenges, pregnancy and parenting can be terrifying, painful, tearful and overwhelming.
When women are also facing such a tough range of circumstances - domestic violence, homelessness, addiction and health issues, unemployment and family breakdown - its the responsibility of a caring community to take action, and offer a hand.
Our experience, and our spreadsheets, show the ongoing need for vital perinatal care, to ensure at-risk mothers get the best-possible start to motherhood, and every child gets every chance to thrive.
With end of financial year, we're looking forward to collating all the data from our past 12 months of operations, and sharing how we've made a difference, and how both demand and our services are growing exponentially!
EOFY is also a chance to count up the generous support we've received from donors - and in the past few months, from Victorian and Federal governments, too.
Thank you to everyone who has made our work possible.
We hope our stats, and our stories, show you just how much your support has achieved for brave mamas and their babies.