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Storytelling and sharing

We believe in centering mothers’ stories. Head over to our blog to read and share some of those stories.

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Mamandla Fellowship: Apply Today!

Mamandla Fellowship: Apply Today!

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The Mamandla Fellowship is uniquely designed as an accessible opportunity for mother-supporters who wish to lead a pro-mother agenda for social change in South Africa. The Fellowship is a year-long journey that includes compulsory in-person engagements, on-line learning and ad-hoc community conversation amongst the fellows. Attendance and participation at all fellowship engagements is compulsory. The Fellowship is designed to build community and networking. It is not an individual learning journey and fellows commit to showing up for each other during their fellowship journey. Every effort will be made to support logistics for participation. There will be no monetary contribution required for Fellows.

MEDIA RELEASE: Screening of Push Comes to Shove documentary draws gender justice advocates, healthcare professionals and mother-supporters

MEDIA RELEASE: Screening of Push Comes to Shove documentary draws gender justice advocates, healthcare professionals and mother-supporters

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After a year of careful planning, learning, listening and conversing, Embrace, the Movement for Mothers, has launched a series of short films in partnership with Makhulu Media that exposes the pervasiveness of obstetric violence in South Africa.

New documentary series exposes the pervasiveness of obstetric violence in South Africa

New documentary series exposes the pervasiveness of obstetric violence in South Africa

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Coinciding with the internationally recognised 16 Days of Activism period, Embrace, a social movement for mothers, teamed up with filmmakers and impact agency Makhulu Media to expose the extent of obstetric violence in our country. Through research and interviews, Push Comes to Shove, shows that obstetric violence is a common yet preventable barrier to accessing quality and dignified healthcare.

Making the Case for Mothers: Embrace’s Stance on Breastfeeding

Making the Case for Mothers: Embrace’s Stance on Breastfeeding

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In the absence of a comprehensive plan that centres mothers as the ‘breastfeeders’, it is highly unlikely that South Africa will meet the WHO’s global target of 70% for exclusive breastfeeding by 2030. As a movement of mothers and mother-supporters, and working for mothers and their families, we are committed to the work of making these positive challenges a reality.

eXpressing in the Workplace: An Employer’s Story

eXpressing in the Workplace: An Employer’s Story

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Studies have shown that organisational and managerial support for the implementation of mother-friendly workplace policies have a positive impact on the duration of exclusive breastfeeding among female employees, and contributes to improved job satisfaction, as well as better staff retention. At the same time, research shows that South African workplace remains largely unaccommodating to breastfeeding employees. As a result, lactating employees are forced to abandon breastfeeding when they return to work.

MEDIA STATEMENT: Embrace responds to World Health Organization report on impact of breastmilk substitutes marketing on infant feeding decisions

MEDIA STATEMENT: Embrace responds to World Health Organization report on impact of breastmilk substitutes marketing on infant feeding decisions

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In order to increase our chances of breastfeeding success, we need to give serious consideration to what it means to give mothers comprehensive breastfeeding support that provides them a sense of safety, acceptance, understanding and sensitivity, and that transcends the frequently espoused, overly simplified epithet “breast is best”.

Urgent action required to address Obstetric Violence in South Africa

Urgent action required to address Obstetric Violence in South Africa

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This normalised state of violence against women and birthing people seeking healthcare has an enduring, negative impact on maternal health outcomes and early childhood development. The abusive treatment of women and girls in maternity services is a form of gender violence that reflects the broader societal devaluation of women and girls in South Africa and the normalisation of violence against them, particularly marginalised and impoverished women and girls.

All We Want for Mother’s Day

All We Want for Mother’s Day

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As mothers, we know better than most that our children are the future, and we appreciate the outpourings of gratitude for our role in shaping that future. But we also want you to know: gratitude alone is not enough – not while pregnant mothers go hungry; not while 1 in 3 mothers suffer from mental disorders during and after pregnancy; not while teenage girls cannot access basic reproductive healthcare services, and not while it is possible for a woman to be beaten while she is labouring.

On 2020, and business unusual

On 2020, and business unusual

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This is our 2021 pledge – to continue to fly the flag for empowered and prioritised motherhood. The burdens mothers hold can and must be alleviated. As a movement, we are focused on seeing this happen, not on our own, but together with individuals and organisations who see truly see mothers too. We hope you will continue to stand with us and work with us as we step into the New Year.

Down on my knees during COVID-19

Down on my knees during COVID-19

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Did I mention the merry-go-round of fear in my head? How was I going to make money? What would happen to my child if I got sick? Before experts reassured us that children younger than ten were least likely get infected, there was the gigantic fear of my child getting sick. The more the lockdown was extended, the more I worried about how my child’s development was being affected by not being able to go to crèche. The longer lockdown lasted, a new fear appeared: the fear of losing a roof over our heads. All this responsibility is unbelievably hard for a single mom because you have to figure everything out alone. But I have to also appreciate how day after day, God sent unexpected angels to help (from a distance or electronically). I have experienced a lot of kindness from so called strangers during this challenging time.

Mothers on Lockdown Week 3: Pregnant in the Pandemic

Mothers on Lockdown Week 3: Pregnant in the Pandemic

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As we listened to story after story, a maternal mantra of sorts emerged: mothers need support always, and perhaps now even more so. The question is – how do we get creative in supporting mothers during pregnancy, birth and post-partum without increasing their risk of contracting COVID?  I think we’re going to have to get radical about creating a community for mothers – no mother left behind. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, but it starts with looking out for the mothers around us and asking them what they need. Lack of support for new mothers is not a corona-conundrum, but if it takes a global pandemic to get us seriously thinking up solutions, then perhaps not all has been lost to 2020 after all.

Mothers on Lockdown Week 2: The Balancing Act

Mothers on Lockdown Week 2: The Balancing Act

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What does this mean for moms? In a sense, the work-life divide has always been a constructed one.  No-one is ever just one thing at once. For so long, people – especially mothers – have had to pretend away at least 60% of whom we are for the sake of our professions and our job security. The gift of COVID-19 is that it has stripped away the props we rely on in this pretense: the office, the meetings, the work trips. Without these, we can no longer pretend away crucial parts of our identities.

#DontLookAwayThisMandelaDay

#DontLookAwayThisMandelaDay

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So, in the run up to #MandelaDay, we are using this platform and our voices as the women, mothers, daughters, sisters of victims and survivors of #genderbasedviolence to call for collective action against such violence. #GBV is a social problem and it will never stop until there are social solutions. So we’re going to be sharing ways in which you can help spot and stop GBV in your own community and resources with which which you can support survivors of GBV. 

Motherhood and Me: Mothering Oyisile-Murhangeri

Motherhood and Me: Mothering Oyisile-Murhangeri

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Nevertheless, throughout my motherhood journey, I have learned that my daughter Oyisile Murhangeri (whose names loosely translate to victory and leader) moulded me into the person that I was destined to become. She has made me understand the true value of life and taught me how to persevere regardless of challenges, a trait that I could have possibly ignored if she was not here.

Reflections on Mother’s Days Gone By

Reflections on Mother’s Days Gone By

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If there is one small mercy for mothers as a result of this pandemic, I pray that its’ a deep acknowledgement of the role that mothers and mothering plays in our society. The world hasn’t stopped in lock down. The economy isn’t ruined. It ticks over in the stabilising force of mothers showing up for their families in their homes – doing important, life-affirming work to steady little children who will grow up to do great things.

Letters to the NICU: From Amor

Letters to the NICU: From Amor

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You are so special. It’s hard. It’s hard to spend hours in there and hours away from your home and your safe haven. It’s not in vain. You are doing an incredibly important job. You are mothering your baby. And it might not feel like it, but you know him or her better than anyone else on this planet.

Meet Emma, Preemie Mom

Meet Emma, Preemie Mom

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If you happen to be one of those moms, I wish you courage, strength and patience. You are that baby’s rock, their place of safety and their first love. The road is slow but you will get there eventually. From one mom to another, keep it together and know that someone is rooting for you.

Meet Lauren, Preemie Mom

Meet Lauren, Preemie Mom

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My Matteo was on earth for ten days. In that time I saw what can only be described as miracles happening because of how this tiny baby brought people together. Your baby will have a different journey, and you will learn things about yourself you never knew. Just know this: you are enough. And I am certain these gladiator babies choose their moms very specifically, no matter how long they are in the arena. I wish you hope and strength for your journey in the most sacred trust of all: motherhood.

Meet Kristin, Preemie Mom

Meet Kristin, Preemie Mom

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At that point, your baby needs you, and you need to be there. You push all your emotions away, and move forward somehow so that you can be there. You feel numb and overwhelmed with caring for this tiny human. I also felt unsupported emotionally because nobody else I knew had a preemie and didn’t understand what I was going through, I would often get comments that they might have thought were supportive but I found them insensitive and hurtful.

#IAmMother: Sane’s Story

#IAmMother: Sane’s Story

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So being a young mother hasn’t been very easy but with my mom’s support it has been the greatest journey ever. With that being said; it’s because my daughter lives with my mom and so I only see her on weekends, but every single day when I talk to her over the phone, she sends me Whatsapp’s of things that my daughter does

#IAmMother : Kelly’s Story

#IAmMother : Kelly’s Story

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Motherhood… people talk about the love that you will feel for your child before you become a mother and you can cognitively listen to them and try to understand, but there really is an inability to approximate that until your child comes into your life and that is a huge thing that I’ve now realized after becoming a mother.

We stand with Shana – why we need to start talking about our births.

We stand with Shana – why we need to start talking about our births.

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Society will not fix what it cannot acknowledge. There are many, many Shana’s in South Africa. We are fed a narrative that as long as we are delivered of a “healthy baby”, nothing else matters – our experiences don’t matter. And yet, we know they do. There is a spectrum of injustice and none of it is okay! The dents in our soul are real….