The Jewish Maternity Services and Family Support Group was set up in 1992 at the request of the Manchester Rosh Yeshiva and with the encouragement of the local maternity units (MFT) and GPS. They were seeing many families struggling with parenthood and needing additional support that was not available through the NHS. Some were suffering from postnatal depression leading to dysfunction. This was because their ethnicity was preventing them from accessing the support services of the general public. 

We set up a culturally sensitive service to alleviate these inequalities. Since then we have been networking with the local maternity units and the maternity mental health teams.

 We have a team of volunteers and we respond to the varied needs of the community as they arise.

Here are some of the things that we do:

  • Crisis intervention and advocacy for family rights.
  • We have a team of doulas to support women during pregnancy, attend hospital appointments where necessary, and attend the birth.
  • We have breastfeeding counsellors.
  • We lend out breast pumps and birthing balls and have a small library.
  • We run a weekly coffee, cake, and pampering morning for mothers and toddlers.
  • We run a Jewish HomeStars based on the national organisation HomeStart which has a team of postnatal doulas who visit families once a week for befriending and assisting with the transition to parenthood. We are currently in discussions with HomeStart about the possibility of becoming affiliated with them.

The strategy we use to carry out our mission is through a social prescribing referrals system with local GPs, therapists, midwives, and the maternity mental health teams within the MFT.

JEMS aims to bridge the gap between the NHS maternity services and the cultural needs of the Jewish Community. JEMS strives to provide comprehensive support, resources, and guidance every step of the way. From conception to early parenting, our goal is to make this transformative experience as positive and fulfilling as possible.