13th May 2018 is Mother’s Day. This should come as no surprise to you. It’s a day when you phone your mom or send her flowers or take her out for lunch to tell her how special she is. That’s what Mother’s Day has always been about for me.

Until last year, when Baby J arrived.

Last year I celebrated my first Mother’s Day when Baby J was just 2.5 months old. I was having a pretty tough time back then. I don’t think I’d call it post natal depression, but I was just struggling to come to terms with my new role as a mother, the new responsibilities that come with a baby and my own anxieties about being a crap mother. Plus Baby J was not the easiest (translation: colicky insomniac) baby and I was having my own difficulties with breastfeeding.

Oh the joys I get to look forward to all over again!

The thing is, whatever I was going through, I had so much support. The Beard is not only an amazing father but he’s an incredible husband; my parents live just an hour away and are happy to come into town regularly; my in-laws live around the corner and are very hands-on; most of my friends have babies and kids so they all know what I’m going through. I shudder to think how much worse it would’ve been for me if I hadn’t had this support.

Sadly, there are many mothers in this country who aren’t lucky enough to have such good support systems. This is where Mother’s Day Connect comes in.

Mother’s Day Connect is a campaign that has been around since 2016. It’s an initiative by Cape Embrace.

The aim of the campaign is to be able to provide support to new moms who otherwise might not have it. You can sign up and spend just an hour with a new mom in a state hospital – just to chat. Just by being there you will be able to bring some support, encouragement and Mother’s Day love to a new mom.

Last year 400 women celebrated 1530 moms (and their babies) in hospitals in 6 cities around the country, which is pretty impressive.

This truly is more than just a project, it is a declaration. We, as women of South Africa, believe that the right of childbirth should be celebrated and supported. We believe that no mother should feel lonely, scared or isolated – and that we, as fellow women, have a role to play in rebuilding the vital connections every mother needs to flourish in her motherhood journey.

But this year they’d like to make it even more impressive, and they need your help.

You can sign up here to secure your place at one of the participating hospitals. If you are unable to participate, you can do your bit by spreading the message so that someone else can hopefully help out in your place.