7 Charities Helping Moms – Motherly Inc.

Even in the best circumstances, motherhood can be quite the challenge. But for the women who live in poverty, lack education or don’t have proper healthcare, pregnancy and childbirth mean life or death; and carrying for their children is an everyday struggle.
So how about celebrating motherhood by giving a little bit of yourself to the mothers who don’t know you but need your help? Here are 7 charities helping moms and their babies around the world.
1. Every Mother Counts (EMC)
289,000 women die every year bringing life into the world — that’s one woman every 2 minutes. Knowing that access to proper health care can prevent 90 percent of these deaths, Christy Turlington Burns founded Every Mother Counts with one mission in mind: to “make pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother, everywhere.” The organization has a variety of programs, ranging from comprehensive doula care and nutrition classes in America to solar-powered clinics in Northern Tanzania.
How you can help: shop partnering brands for the holidays, donate money, or run for a cause.
2. Carry The Future
Millions of Syrians seeking refuge have surged — many of them carrying babies and toddlers for miles on end. Hoping to lighten their loads, Cristal Logothetis founded Carry the Future to deliver baby carriers to Syrian parents and help them keep their babies safe through their journey to asylum. Since its launch last September, the organization has distributed close to 7,000 carriers. Carry the Future has also provided refugee families with over 1,000 baby food pouches and countless protein bars, care packs and toys. The association’s latest mission focuses on providing baby beds and other sleep essentials like swaddles and mosquito nets for refugee babies in dire need of safety and comfort. If you want to join a distribution trip, click here.
How you can help: send your gently-used baby carrier, donate to the Indiegogo campaign, shop Carry the Future apparel, or sponsor a relief package.
3. Good+ Foundation
Jessica Seinfeld founded Good+ (previously Baby Buggy) in 2001 for families in need. Working in concert with more than 100 community-based programs, the organization provides equipment, clothing and services to parents who need help take care of their children. But rather than just giving things away, Good+ uses their donations as an incentive for change. For example, a mother receives a stroller after opening an education-savings account for her child; and a father gets a crib after completing a 16-week parenting program. Since its launch, Good+ has given more than 20 million items — including cribs, high chairs and diapers — and has extended its mission to job training, parenting education and financial literacy classes.
How you can help: organize a drive, give gear, donate money, or volunteer.
4. March of Dimes
March of Dimes wants to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects and infant mortality. But its most recent campaign effort focuses on stopping the number one killer of infants in the United States: premature birth. In an attempt to give all babies a healthy start in life, the association helps moms have full-term pregnancies. It also provides support to families whose babies need specialized medical care. In 2004, March of Dimes launched the Prematurity Research Initiative, which funds research to understand, and ultimately prevent, preterm labor. Until December 31, March of Dimes will double your donations.
How you can help: donate, volunteer, or attend one of their local events.
5. Global Midwife Education Foundation (GMEF)
Like other family-centric organizations, Global Midwife Education Foundation hopes to reduce maternal and infant mortality in rural areas of the developing world. Its mission, however, seeks to do so by focusing on educating birth attendants through sustained, community-based programs. The organization trains and equips midwives to provide childbirth assistance and newborn care to remote, impoverished villages. In addition, GMEF addresses other basic needs, like access to clean water and sanitation, to make sure that mothers and babies remain healthy after childbirth.
How you can help: donate.
6. Women In Need (WIN)
Close to 60,000 people will be sleeping in a NYC shelter tonight, and 80 percent of them will be women and children. Women in Need hopes to break the cycle of homelessness for families in the city. It provides them with clean, safe housing and services like childcare, computer literacy classes, and vocational workshops. WIN’s ultimate goal is to progressively offer moms and their children a way out of homelessness, and into permanent homes.
How you can help: donate, volunteer, or give clothing, toiletries, toys or books.
7. Circle of Health International
Aligning itself with local, community-based organizations, Circle of Health International (COHI) works with women and their communities in times of crisis to ensure access to quality reproductive, maternal and newborn care. The association sends volunteer field teams to provide disaster relief; it provides professional training in health, community engagement and non-profit management; and it delivers supplies to help women and children in crisis. In 13 years, COHI has served more than 3 million women, delivered $800,000 worth of supplies, and has trained more than 7,000 healthcare professional.
How you can help: donate funds, donate supplies, volunteer, contribute to the gift registry.

Homepage photo via of Carry the Future.
This article is sponsored by H&M. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.
They’ll love sporting these bags all year long.
From summer camp to the first day of school, every kiddo needs a good backpack. The trick is finding one that’s big enough to haul all of their supplies without weighing them down or making them look like an unsteady turtle.
And since there’s an overwhelming amount of choices out there, here’s a pro tip: Choose a few that you love, then let them pick out their favorite! (And don’t forget the perfect first day of school outfit!)
We’re totally in love with this adorable collab between Hunter X Peppa Pig! The water-resistant backpack is perfectly sized for minis (and looks fetching with the matching rain boots)!
With their European aesthetic and too-adorable-for-words designs, we can’t help but crush on all things Coco Village. But this back-to-school season, their Little Bear backpack takes the cake. Not only is it the cutest backpack + pencil case combo ever, it’s also made from durable vegan leather with a top-loading construction that makes it easy for little ones to pack and unpack. (And don’t miss the matching bee hive lunchbox!)
With a bright color-blocking design they’ll love and a durable coating that will keep it tip-top throughout the year, you can’t go wrong with this basic number. It comes in a navy blue and orange colorway as well.
We’ve always loved the Swedish Fjällraven’s iconic Kanken backpacks for little ones. The square design fits just enough to be helpful but not too much to weigh them down and they last FOREVER. And even better, the brand has worked to further climate change initiatives since 1994 with their Arctic Fox Initiative. This year’s ocean-inspired collection, designed by Swedish artist Linn Fritz, benefits 2 Minute Foundation and Leave No Trace, working to draw awareness to the growing problem of plastics littering the oceans.
Designed with the tiniest school-goers in mind, Mcubed backpacks are large enough to fit folders and essentials, but not so big they’ll overwhelm your little one. We love their simple patterns and muted colors which you don’t always find when it comes to kid backpacks. They also offer matching lunchboxes and pencil cases!
Soft, lightweight and water-resistant, this quilted backpack is perfectly sized for little scholars (and comes in a variety of colors if leopard print isn’t their thing!) Even better? It also comes in mama size for some seriously adorable (and organized) twinning.
These bags are made from natural linen and exclusively designed for grade school. They’re machine washable and feature a chest clip for extra support if they carry home lots of books.
The “OG” of backpack brands, Jansport makes durable classic designs that can withstand the wear and tear of the school year. A front panel with a built-in organizer will keep elementary kids and middle schoolers organized, while the padded shoulder straps will keep them comfortable. The best part? The price (and a few super fun patterns)!
Roomy enough to carry your child through elementary school and durable enough to last well beyond that, State Bags kiddo backpacks are a great investment. They also come in tons of awesome colors and designs and can be personalized with their initials and/or their choice of emoji-esque symbols like a rocket, banana or lightning bolt. This company was founded to help local children in need so for every bag purchased, STATE will support an American child in need in the way they need it most.
Made from 24 standard size water bottles, this fun tie-dye number is big enough to carry the essentials but also slim enough they won’t topple over.
This classic bag is great for preschool and elementary. With padded back panels and shoulder straps, it provides optimal comfort and is water-repellent. It has reinforced stitching so it’ll hold up just fine if your little tosses it or drags it around. And, we can’t resist personalizing it with a monogram so you always know which bag is your kid’s.
Now, who wouldn’t want a llama backpack?! We adore Skip Hop’s toddler backpack line—kiddos can pick out their favorite animal, like a unicorn, ladybug, or bee. They’re ideal for preschool, where children won’t bring a ton of folders or binders home. The insulated front pouch is the perfect spot to store snacks.
Perfectly sized for kids aged 3 to 4, Herschel’s smallest version of the popular Herigate backpack comes in six different colorways and features a removable sternum support strap and a limited lifetime warranty.
These backpacks offer so many design options and the 12 inch one is ideal for daycare through preschool. It has an insulated front pocket big enough to store lunch or snacks for the day—and can be embroidered so your little doesn’t get confused about which bag is theirs.
This bag is the perfect size for any toddler’s first day of preschool (😭). It’s big enough to hold a lovey, extra outfit and a water bottle but petite enough to sit comfortably on their back (regular-sized backpacks look massive on 3-year-olds). We also love that it comes with a fill-in-the-blank name and phone number label inside the backpack so mamas don’t have to add their own.
When you think of Pottery Barn Kids, you likely picture home decor and nursery furniture. But, they have some incredibly durable and functional backpacks for kids. The critter collection comes in two sizes (we recommend the small for preschool and large for kindergarten and beyond) and a variety of designs so kids can have fun showing off their style. Bonus: They have amazing personalization options!
Prices range from $54.50-$64.50
We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You’ve got this.
They transition seamlessly for indoor play.
Keeping kids entertained is a battle for all seasons. When it’s warm and sunny, the options seem endless. Get them outside and get them moving. When it’s cold or rainy, it gets a little tricker.
So with that in mind, we’ve rounded up some of the best toys for toddlers and kids that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, many are Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.
Tiny thrill-seekers will love this kid-powered coaster which will send them (safely) sailing across the backyard or play space. The durable set comes with a high back coaster car and 10.75 feet of track, providing endless opportunities for developing gross motor skills, balance and learning to take turns. The track is made up of three separate pieces which are easy to assemble and take apart for storage (but we don’t think it will be put away too often!)
This set has everything your little secret agent needs to solve whatever case they might encounter: an ID badge, finger scanner, walkie-talkie handset, L-shaped scale and coloring comic (a printable file is also available for online download) along with a handy belt to carry it all along. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.
Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.
Kiddos can jump, stretch, climb and balance with these non-slip stepping stones. The 20-piece set can be arranged in countless configurations to create obstacle courses, games or whatever they can dream up.
Whether you’re hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that’s perfect for sand stamping. They’re also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.
Filled with sand or water, this compact-sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama’s ideal trifecta 😉). It’s big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it’s going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.
Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they’re learning.
Designed for ages 3 and up, My First Flybar offers kiddos who are too young for a pogo stick a frustration-free way to get their jump on. The wide foam base and stretchy bungee cord “stick” is sturdy enough to withstand indoor and outdoor use and makes a super fun addition to driveway obstacle courses and backyard races. Full disclosure—it squeaks when they bounce, but don’t let that be a deterrent. One clever reviewer noted that with a pair of needle-nose pliers, you can surgically remove that sucker without damaging the base.
Whether they’re digging up sand in the backyard or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? It’s made from recycled plastic milk cartons.
Burn off all that extra energy hippity hopping across the lawn or the living room! This hopper ball is one of the top rated versions on Amazon as it’s thicker and more durable than most. It also comes with a hand pump to make inflation quick and easy.
There’s just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it’s tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.
This built-to-last rocking seesaw is a fun way to get the wiggles out in the grass or in the playroom. The sturdy design can support up to 77 pounds, so even older kiddos can get in on the action.
Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it’s a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.
Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they’re great for indoors as well.
We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You’ve got this.
The Motherly Birth Class is completely online, which means you can take the class at your own pace.
Taking a birth class is a pregnancy milestone. Whether you’ve been excited to take a birth class for a long time or have just recently decided that you wanted to take one, sitting down for that first lesson feels big—spoiler alert, this is really happening! But finding time for a birth class isn’t as easy as it would seem.

We know new parents are busy (hello, understatement of the year). Between diaper changes, pediatrician appointments, healing from birth and the general adjustment to #newparentlife, the days can fill up quickly. But a lot of people are caught off guard by how busy pregnancy can be, too! That first trimester is so often full of symptoms—like nausea and fatigue—that can make previously easy or simple tasks exhausting. The second trimester begins and (usually) we start to feel better. But then our days get filled with planning out baby registries and deciding on questions like, “Where will this tiny new human sleep?” And before you know it, it’s the third trimester—and, well, then you’re in the home stretch. Plus there are so many appointments!
All this to say that we get how busy you are—and how hard that might make it to fit in a birth class.
Think you’ll want to watch each lesson a few times over? Great!
Due date’s next week and you need the option to take a birth class very quickly? No problem!
Like everything at Motherly, we designed this class with you in mind.
Taught by Certified Nurse-Midwife Diana Spalding (who also wrote “The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama“), this class is broken into 12 lessons—and you get to control how and when you watch them. We’ll teach you about what your (amazing) body is up to in labor, how to decide when it’s time to head to the hospital or birth center (or when to call your home birth midwife), what your options are for coping with pain and so much more.
When you sign up for The Motherly Birth Class, you’ll get access to a downloadable workbook and meditations. Plus, you’ll be invited to join our supportive private online community (where you can chat with the class instructor!)
Oh, one more thing: Your insurance or flexible spending account might even able to able to cover the cost of this class.
Pregnancy is wonderful—but it’s a lot. You deserve a birth class that works for you and empowers you to have your best birth. Because vaginal or Cesarean, unmedicated or medication, birth is incredible. And you are the star of it all.
You’ve got this.
Take our completely digital birth class from the comfort of your living room. We’ll help you have your best birth—because you deserve it.
We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You’ve got this.
Here’s a sample scheudle of what you can expect from your growing baby.
By five months old, your baby has hopefully passed through the dreaded four-month sleep regression and is well on her way to better nights of sleep. Although every baby is different, of course, babies at this age can start to show more regular sleep patterns. And things like being more active during the day, being curious about new things around him and starting to reach more physical milestones, like rolling over, can certainly help tucker out your little explorer.
However, your five-month-old baby’s sleep may not be exactly what you’re hoping for just yet. Your baby is still growing (and learning) all about the world around them, including how to sleep.
As the American Academy of Sleep Medicine explains, a 5-month-old baby should get between 12-16 hours of sleep per 24 hours. This is generally broken up into nighttime sleep and between 2-4 naps during the day. Rachel Mitchell, a certified pediatric and maternal sleep consultant and founder of My Sweet Sleeper, tells Motherly that you may notice that as your baby reaches five months of age, their daytime and nighttime sleep habits are becoming more consistent.
She notes that most babies have moved through the four-month sleep progression (thank goodness!) and are transitioning from four naps down to three around this stage. “Your baby will still likely be on three to four naps per day, but you may find that the fourth nap is no longer needed if your baby is taking three naps that are one hour or longer,” Mitchell explains.
Sleep at night will be more consistent, but she also adds that it’s still very normal for a five-month-old baby to wake up once a night to eat, so if that happens, you should feed your baby and lay them back down. If you’re dealing with a lot of nighttime wake-ups, there may be something else going on. “If your baby is waking more frequently than once a night and won’t go back down without a feed, it’s possible that they need more calories during the day,” Mitchell adds. Optimizing sleep at night often starts with the right daytime sleep routine too, so here are Mitchell’s suggestions for a sleep schedule for success.

Interestingly enough, the most important part of a sleep schedule for a five-month-old baby is actually when you time putting your baby to bed, says Mitchell. Waiting too long can throw off the whole schedule, but putting your baby to bed too early may also not be ideal. It can be difficult at this age, because babies are still growing and developing and may tucker themselves right out earlier some days. So you can pay attention to your baby’s cues and offer them an earlier bedtime on the days they do seem to need it.
“The ideal bedtime in this stage is between 7 pm and 8 p.m., but you may find that some days your baby needs to go to bed between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.,” Mitchell explains. “It is generally better in this stage to offer an early bedtime than it is to offer a late cat nap and push bedtime later.”
Wake windows are also key at this stage—wake windows are the length of time that your baby is awake between naps. During awake windows, you can play with your baby, let them have tummy time, or eat.
And while awake windows can be packed with activity, it’s also important to time them appropriately to help your baby sleep better. Mitchell explains that wake windows start to increase at this age, now that your baby is a little bit older, and they should decrease in length from the start of the day to the end of the day.
For example, the first wake window of the day should be the shortest, while the last of the day should be the longest to promote a deeper sleep at night.
“At this stage, awake windows will start to lengthen to about 1.75 to 2.5 hours, with the first awake window being the shortest and the last awake window before bed being the longest (assuming the last nap is adequate),” she says.
Along with timing that awake time and bedtime to just the right moments so you can both get the optimum amount of sleep, here are a few more sleep tips for your five month old.
Being able to breastfeed my child has been a blessing. I am not naive to the fact that not everyone is able or willing to go down this road, but for me, I’m proud I can. It has been an amazing way for us to bond.
I knew it would be a commitment, a real commitment. I’m still mindful of my caffeine intake and I don’t feel like I can enjoy that glass of wine whenever I want. But it was hard to visualize the true dedication it would require before I was in it.
Even more than being pregnant, breastfeeding is a full-time job. And this job comes with a demanding schedule. It’s one of the things that surprised me most about breastfeeding.
Because no one prepared me for how I would live my life in 3-hour increments.
My days and nights are on a three hour Groundhog Day-like cycle. Somehow days turn into nights, and back into days again, almost without me noticing. With a child who nurses 8 to 10 times in a day, life feels a little chaotic right now.
Just getting out of the house has come to feel like a real chore. One that is almost too daunting. But in an effort to not go stir crazy, I’ve learned to get smart about my escapes into the world: Preparation is key.
I plan my errands around a breastfeeding-friendly location.
If I have a lot to do and need to get out of the house for an extended period of time, I plan my midpoint to be a place where I know I can easily breastfeed. The car is a great backup, in a pinch, but definitely not ideal. So Buy Buy Baby, with their lovely nursing and changing room, is my midpoint. (It also happens to be next to my favorite grocery store, which is a bonus.)
So my day often goes something like this:
Feed my baby at home. By the time I nurse, burp and change my son’s diaper then hold him upright for 10 to 15 minutes (reflux mamas, you know what I’m talking about) an hour has flown by. Then I grab my bag, load him in his car seat and head out. I run to the pharmacy, get a cup of coffee and run an extra errand like getting my car washed. Then, just like that, it’s time for my little human to eat again! I head to Buy Buy Baby, feed and change my little guy, then browse the store. Because, while I’m here, why not?! I have found that I typically need (at least) one thing there anyway. Then, I head to the grocery store. Using this nursing friendly midpoint helps me extend my outing by at least an hour.
The same rules apply to being at home.
Nurse, burp, change. The clock starts ticking. About two hours until his next feeding. While he naps, I can conquer the around-the-house tasks—prep dinner, even if it’s 11 am. Throw in a load of laundry, which is often forgotten about for a day or two (and will need to be washed again). Take a fast shower—a sweet moment to myself. I amaze myself at what I can accomplish while the clock is ticking.
But then, in a blink, it is time to nurse again.
With this being my second time around, I know this time is so short.
Is it a huge commitment? Yes. Do I feel like I’m on a hamster wheel? Yes. Am I utterly exhausted? Yes. Do I wish some days that someone else in my house could produce milk from their body, too? Yes. Do I yearn to leave the house more often? Yes.
But so goes motherhood.
He needs me right now. I am his lifeline. So I soldier on, in three hour blocks of time. And then, just like that I will blink, and he will be walking into preschool. No longer needing me so frequently during the day. No longer wanting to snuggle up for those nursing sessions. No longer my baby boy. So for now, I’ll hold on, just a little bit longer.
Versatile, lifesaving, and TOTALLY essential. A super soft swaddle blanket is like the Swiss army knife of early mamahood. We’ve used them as breastfeeding covers, mess cleaner-uppers, stroller blankets, scarves and even as a back up baby outfit (#diaperbagfail). Keep one with you and you’ll feel ready for anything.
A shirt that lets you breastfeed while still looking chic and put together? You’ve got it. Made from super soft, breathable Italian fabric, this flowy top pairs perfectly with everything from leggings and sneakers to your favorite jeans and mules. The concealed side zip lets you get down to business anywhere you please.
Comfy enough to sleep in but supportive enough to wear all day, we’re big fans of this crossover style nursing bra from Belly Bandit. With removable pads that catch any leaks, it keeps you confident too!
[This was originally published March, 2018. It has since been updated.]

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