Have you been wondering about how you can give back this Christmas?
The festive season can be an isolating and stressful time for new Mums or Mums-to-be who are doing it tough. As every Mum does, they'll be doing their best to ensure their little one has a special day, or will be saving every dollar for the arrival of their baby. This means that there will be many Mums who will go without. But you can help and get involved in the Christmas Love campaign that is run by The Babes Project. They offer free services for pregnant women and new Mums who are in vulnerable situations. Read on to find out about how you can ensure that a Mum in need, feels special this Christmas.
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Written by The Babes Project
Christmas – What Mama hasn’t, at some point, groaned at the thought of that most wonderful time of the year?
Yep, pressure to make the magic happen tends to fall on Mum – and too often, no one’s asking what Mum might want or need.
After nearly a decade supporting pregnant women and new mothers doing it tough, The Babes Project knows how the festive season can hit hard.
The women in our free perinatal program can feel overwhelmed by isolation and vulnerability, especially as they solo-parent, navigate difficult relationships, lack family support, struggle financially, or battle for better health.
All these issues mean our Mamas tend to go without at Christmas – under pressure to make the season so special for their little family, or to save as they prepare for bub’s safe arrival.
Luckily, our Christmas Love campaign is designed to let these Mums know they’re not forgotten.
Now in its sixth year, Christmas Love is a giving initiative to ensure all 200 women in our supportive program get something for them this festive season.
Supporters like you sign up, get allocated a box with some key details about the mum who will receive it, and fill it up to ensure a festive delivery before Christmas.
Thanks to Motherhood Melbourne, we’ve put together this list of what we know mums want and need, day-in, day-out at The Babes Project.
And we’re hoping it might inspire you to help a Babes Mama – or even a mum you already know doing it tough – to feel a bit of extra Christmas Love.
Need #1: To be seen and heard
How often do we see a single version of motherhood? Especially around Christmas, whether it’s the flood of junk mail or the Insta feed, there’s model Mum snug in her luxurious robe and slippers, comfy in her beautifully styled home, picture-perfect children, devoted dad making coffee.
But at Babes, we know motherhood can look like a million different things – and every version of Mama life deserves celebrating!
The women we support face countless challenges - and without The Babes Project, they would go through a fraught pregnancy with little support in their battles, and no practical or emotional preparation for bub's arrival.
The fact that they persist, persevere, and make it through – well, we think that deserves shouting from the rooftops!
As these Mamas grow their confidence and sense of empowerment, we support them to tell their stories – and public support for initiatives like Christmas Love help them realise that they are being heard.
Gift suggestions: A diary or notebook to record special moments, a printing voucher to turn favourite digital photos into keepsakes, an accessory that stands out from the crowd!
Need #2: To have their Mama achievements acknowledged and appreciated
Let’s face it Mamas: we’ve all felt under-appreciated at some point. There’s a sad shortage of trophies for sleepless nights, hard-slog days, or just the sheer effort to put one foot in front of the other.
But can you imagine having no-one in your household, family or friendship group cheering on your efforts? (Sorry bub, but those cute little faces you pull aren’t going to cut it as real gratitude for a few years yet!).
Babes does more than prepare women for motherhood – we stick around for the first year of baby’s life, we cheer the loudest as a new mama does it the toughest, we help build networks that will last, and we step in with targeted support as soon as it’s needed.
No other organisation provides this service, and we offer it free, fiercely independent, and with judgement-free love and care.
Through Christmas Love, we’d love you (and your best Mama squad) to add your voices (and pompoms!) to our vital cheering.
Gift suggestions: Supplies to help celebrate, inspirational stationery, something that will grow with Mama and Bub.
Need #3: To know someone cares (and to relax for five minutes!)
Isolation – it’s crushing at the best of times, and for vulnerable pregnant and new mums, it can be a living nightmare.
We know that loneliness and isolation can contribute to antenatal and postnatal depression, affecting up to one in seven new mothers. And the arrival of bub often increases those feelings, as all those newborn challenges trap you in your home, or your head.
At Babes, we provide a network of new mamas facing up to similar challenges, regular reasons to get out of the house, and support for each woman to realise she’s not alone.
Of course, the challenges go well beyond the mothers we work with – they’re right throughout the Mama community, and even the most supported woman has days where they hit hard.
By supporting our Christmas Love campaign, you can share your own experience, pay forward the care you may have received, and let another mama in on what’s helped you get through – even if it’s just making ten minutes for yourself!
Gift suggestions: A voucher to your favourite retailer or service (Melbourne-based or online), sweet treats, a decadent tea pack, bathroom pampers or candles.
Every mum has it tough to keep all the baubles in the air at Christmas, but if you can find an extra spot on your present list this year, we’d love you to add a Babes mama.
Register by yourself or with a group of friends for our Christmas Love campaign at thebabesproject.com.au/christmas_love, and we’ll be in touch about when you can collect your box, how to fill it, and where to return by November 30!
Or, if you’d like to be there for Mamas all year round, you can pledge your tax-deductible support at thebabesproject.com.au/donate.
ABOUT THE BABES PROJECT
Founded by mothers, for mothers, The Babes Project delivers face-to-face perinatal care at Pregnancy Support Centres in Croydon and Frankston, and through phone, online and smartphone app services, to support women around Australia to thrive in their pregnancy and with their new bub.
Business owner: Founder and CEO Helen Parker
Fav café: Too many to choose just one!
Coffee order: A round of strong flat whites – Babes is always busy helping Mamas, and we all need the caffeine to keep going!