For Younger Mums

Need more help?

If the questions on this page don’t answer your question, then please don’t hesitate to contact us through this website.

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What age do I have to be to get support from The Empowerment Challenge?

If you have birthed a baby when you were under the age of 26, we’re here for you. 

I am a father and need some support, can I get involved with The Empowerment Challenge?

At this stage, we’re only supporting mothers.  However, we acknowledge the role of others in parenting and hope to widen our supports in the future.

Do I need to have a health care card?

No.  We will try to support all younger mums with their needs where possible.

What supports can I expect from The Empowerment Challenge?

The Empowerment Challenge will work with you to support you to overcome life’s challenges.  We hope to walk alongside you to help you to access services, supports, education, employment and hope for the future.  We want to be a safe place for you to be you.  For more info about what we do, click the CONTACT US button. We’d love to explain more to you.

What makes The Empowerment Challenge different?

We are mums ourselves and we are not another service that u have to attend. We care about supporting you. We get that times can be tough.  We want it to be easy to see us. We want you to feel good about it.

I don’t have a licence or car, how do I find you?

No worries, The Empowerment Challenge is mobile!  We are getting around the community offering support and encouragement to younger mums.  If you would like to chat about what we can do to help, we can pull up somewhere close to you, like a park or shop.  We want to make it easy, so you don’t have to stress more about appointments and childcare.

I have anxiety and get really worried about meeting new people.

We understand this.  Anxiety is something we have experience with and we know how it can stop you from being able to do what you want to do.  We are here to make life easier, not harder.  We can meet for as little or long as you need. We can meet outside and we are really informal. We don’t judge or care if you haven’t had time to do your hair, we’re mums too and our hair is often in a messy mum bun. 

I experience depression on and off, some days are better than others and I hate it when I just can’t get to appointments on my bad days… no one seems to understand what it’s like for me.

Some days are just too exhausting and stressful to add meeting new people.  We completely understand and there is no pressure from us.  Come hang out if you can, and if it makes u feel better, that’s all we hope for.  If you need to have a doona day, just txt us. 

I don’t know what I need. Things are really in a mess and I can’t even think about the future. I don’t want any pressure to do anything. I’m just getting thru each day…

That’s all good.  There is no pressure or judgment from us. We know that you might just like to get out and we can be there as much, or as little as you want. It might just be a chat online or over the phone.  We just want to make u feel comfortable to do what ever is easiest for you. No need to feel pressured about anything. 

I don’t like meeting new people…can I bring a friend or family member?

Of course, if it is easier, bring someone you trust. We get how hard it can be to talk to people u don’t know.

I am pregnant, I don’t know if I am ready to be a mum, what do I do?

Its completely normal to feel overwhelmed when you find out you are pregnant, especially if this is something that wasn’t originally planned. It’s a good idea to speak with someone about these feelings and thoughts. The Emotional Support for Pregnancy, Outcomes and decisions is a good place to start, you can take a look at your options here ESPOD Geelong. You might like to book in to chat with someone about these options, remember you have some time and don’t need to come to a decision immediately.

What are Braxton Hicks?

You might have heard the term “Braxton Hicks” these are like mini contractions your body 

does to prepare for labor, they are not usually painful but can be a bit uncomfortable. Can feel a little like period pain and cramping or tightening of your stomach. They are completely normal and can happen more if you are dehydrated or stressed out so drink up – water is best and try to relax! If you are worried speak with your GP or midwife next visit.

How bad is labour?

Labour is different for everyone, generally its different for every pregnancy! Some women have described labour pains by using words such as, intense, sharp pains, aching, cramping, pressing, shooting or throbbing. Other women have birthed babies in the toilet thinking it was just a bowel movement! The most important thing to remember is that you can totally do this! Contractions can and often do cause pain in the lower abdomen, also in the lower back, the pain can move around. You might feel better standing up or laying down again it’s different for everyone. There are many aids to help you with the pain and you can speak with your midwife about these before the labour to get a good understanding of what you feel comfortable with.

Breast or Bottle?

This is a big topic! Some people worry if they put their baby on to formula they are not doing a good job, they wont bond with baby etc, this is not true! While many health experts believe that breast milk is the best nutritional substance for babies if it causes distress, pain, anxiety etc its not at all healthy for you as a mother. Formula is a healthy alternative to breast milk and provides your baby with all the nutrients they require as they get older. Of course with formula comes additional costs which needs to be considered but this decision is yours and you should feel comfortable and supported either way.

Where can I get some help with items for my baby?

When we are out on the road and have a worker we can hook you up! Until then to access support with items such as nappies, clothes, cots etc if you cannot afford to purchase them yourself you will need to engage with the salvation army, BCYF, Bethany or another community organisation to get an order put through to Geelong Mums. Geelong Mums is a wonderful service which allows people in the Geelong community to access material aid when in need, all goods are donated in fabulous condition and some purchased new eg.  nappies, wipes etc.

Where can I go for food assistance?

If you are in need of food assistance you can access food relief by contacting the Salvation Army Geelong Doorways 26 Bellarine St, Geelong (5223 9200) or Uniting Care Geelong 272 Torquay Rd, Grovedale (03 4210 1100 ).

When you call either one of these wonderful services you will be asked some details such as name and phone number and you will most likely need to have an appointment with a staff member who will assess your needs – this is nothing to worry about and everyone is asked the same questions. From here staff will be able to provide you with what it is you need.

My kid(s) are driving me crazy and I never get any time out! I can’t take them out, they just run a muck.

We get that. We want to help.  We can meet where u find it easy.  We have toys and can keep the kid(s) happy while you have a much needed second to breathe.  Come hang out. You’ll feel better for it!

I have so much going through my head, who can I speak with?

There are many different counsellors and psychologists around and sometimes it tricky to find the right fit. Its ok to try a couple before you find someone you feel gets you. Your first point of call is usually your GP, here you can get a mental health plan. Your doctor can refer you to mental health professionals including; psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors, social workers. A mental health treatment plan lets you claim up to 20 sessions with a mental health professional each calendar year through Medicare.

To start with, your GP will refer you for up to 6 sessions at a time. If you need more, they can refer you for further sessions. Health professionals set their own fees, so Medicare may only cover some of the cost – speak with your GP if you would like to find a mental health professional which wont cost you out of pocket. You can also tell your GP who you would like to be referred to, so don’t be afraid to do some research and ask to be referred to somewhere specific. Headspace is another option if you are under 25 yrs old.

I have so many workers and appointments, why would I want another, all the stress drives me crazy!

Being a mum is busy enough.  Having appointments can totally mess up the day.  We get that there are so many things u have to do…  we want to help, not make life harder.  You gotta do what you gotta do… we hope that we can help with some of the stressful things. We hope that we can make u feel better about getting it done.  We might know stuff that can help, like about Centrelink, legal stuff and getting financial support.  Hopefully u will feel that we are more than an appointment, and see that we are there for u.