Remembering all mothers on this day

822 mothers will birth babies in Australia on this Mother’s Day

300, 000 babies will be birthed this year.

Today, we celebrate mothers for the invaluable work they do for their children and families.

We need to remember that we all come from pregnancy. A woman who went through pregnancy in order for us to be born. Yet we do not treat pregnancy and mothering with a robust respect that’s worthy of all that it means.

We acknowledge there are many different types of mothers – birth or biological mothers, surrogate mothers, foster mothers and adoptive mothers – who all share the profound, life giving and life-changing experience of mothering and today we reflect on their contribution to society.

It is time for us to become more aware of the value of that care work and give it the recognition and support it deserves. Imagine a world where the work of mothers growing a baby, then caring for and educating her children, even if not financially compensated, is recognised as a fundamental contribution to society.

We all need to ensure, through our conversations with others,  health professionals, policy makers, and our representatives in government , that all Australian women, including yourselves, your sisters and daughters, are entitled to and receive respectful maternity care;  where all health professionals ensure that they provide evidence based respectful care and that the women for whom they care, are empowered to be equal partners in this process.

Respectful care has a unique ability to dignify. It can make mothers feel valued, respected, honoured and seen.