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.
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.
Rewriting Motherhood mama Pippa with little one Lulu.
In the year since we first started Rewriting Motherhood, Babes has made some big impacts:
- We launched our new App, an iPhone application based on our crisis pregnancy perinatal program, but relevant for all pregnant women, and full of potential for a big Babes future. It's called The Babes Project App and it's on App Store for free - check it out!
- We secured big chunks of State and Federal funding to continue and expand our work at our Frankston and Croydon pregnancy and parenting support services.
- We returned to Victorian Parliament for the Family and Community Development Committee's Inquiry into Perinatal Services, to highlight the gaps that we're filling, and what's working for mamas and their babies (you can read the transcript here).
- Through our perinatal program, we supported mamas from all walks of life to welcome 69 babies into the world in 2017, and helped many more at different stages of pregnancy and and early parenting.
No doubt, our Rewriting Motherhood event helped launch us into the consciousness of our political class, and made inroads into some of those big achievements.
But the truth is, there's one thing above all others that speaks to pollies, and that can drive the legislative changes and increased funding needed to empower all new mothers.
Rewriting Motherhood is about a cause that all of us can support - a line in the sand that motherhood can't be stereotyped and set aside by our society. That women can't told it's their own fault, and tough luck, when the road is rocky for pregnant and new mums.
This week, we're holding our first Rewriting Motherhood forum - a chance to thrash out those issues, and what all of us would like to see improved, around all aspects of mama life, and the perinatal period. We've invited some great mamas to share their stories, from all sorts of backgrounds - including author Jamila Rizvi, sports presenter Emma Race, leaders and founders in the not-for-profit space, and women making a difference in business and corporate worlds, too.
We also want to know what works for new mums, not just for us at Babes, but for everyone - and from there, to keep building our blueprint for happier, healthier and stronger families of every shape and size.
The Babes Project has big plans for 2018, and we want to take so many big hearts with us.
If you can join us at the forum this Friday, May 11 from 10am, we'd love to see you there - tickets still available!
And whether it's through your voice, your giving, or just through showing up, please keep your support of Babes strong - and be part of our push to rewrite the motherhood experience, so every woman is supported and empowered to be the mama she wants to be.
MPs from both sides of Parliament supported our Rewriting Motherhood launch - but our mission to empower mamas starts with you and me. (Pictured: Babes founder Helen Parker at centre, with MPs David Hodgett, Marlene Kairouz, Dee Ryall and Georgie Crozier)