For most, the news of a pregnancy is a joyous affair. Maybe it’s the longed for fulfilment of a dream, a moment of excitement and expectation. Friends and family gather around to share in your elation. They offer to throw you a baby shower, perhaps organise a meal rota once the little one has arrived, to come around to hold the baby so that you can finally have a hot cup of coffee and a quick well-deserved nap. Perhaps you might even find yourself a little overwhelmed with visitors and offers of help?
How would you cope if you had none of this?
Meet 20 year old, pregnant Sammy. Sammy has had 3 previous miscarriages and as a result suffers bouts of depression and low moods. Sammy is unsure who the father of her unborn child is and is at risk of losing her room at the hostel where she lives, due to the constant string of men attending her accommodation for sex. She was subject to child sexual exploitation from a very young age and was moved out of Birmingham for her own protection but has recently chosen to return. After her mother kicked her out of the family home at the age of 15, Sammy no longer has a relationship with her or any other family members.
Then there’s Salima. Her English is extremely limited and she has no friends, family or community support. Salima's days are spent alone, cooped up in a tiny room, doing her very best to try to care for herself and her newborn. A quick glance around her room will tell you that Salima has nothing that a newborn requires and no one to help her.
Just like Sammy and Salima there are many, many more women across Birmingham in similar positions. In 2012 an NHS report found that two thirds of mothers in Birmingham, live in social depravation.
E.lay.os - a variation on the spelling of the Greek word for compassion.
Unbeknownst to one another, at a similar point in time, in different parts of Birmingham - friends, Amelia Sommers, a Dance Movement Psychotherapist and Hope Plumb, a Personal Trainer/Fitness Instructor & Doula begin to question how their skills can be used to benefit isolated and vulnerable women during pregnancy, birth and post birth. After discovering their mutual interests they decide that the best way forward is to set up a health and well-being charity for perinatal women in Birmingham. Offering their skills to women like Sammy and Salima that need them the most but cannot possibly afford to pay for them.
What we offer
We work on a referral basis to support women in the following ways:
Accompanying to appointments
Support with birth preference options
Access to support groups (such as nutrition on a budget, pregnancy support)
Individual support surrounding pregnancy and birth
Building rapport for during and after birth
Help to form community among the women
Birthing tools (movement, breath, massage)
Supportive presence to reassure informed decision making during birth
Accompanying to appointments
Post birth debrief sessions
Regular follow ups to check wellbeing
Post natal care (such as breastfeeding support)
Practical care (such as cooking, laundry)
Support groups (such as nutrition on a budget, mum and baby movement groups, fitness classes)
Child Attachment/Developmental support
We rely on financial donations, no matter how small, to keep Elayos operating daily. Please help us by giving one-off donations or by setting up a regular standing order with the details below:
Account Name: Elayos
Sort Code: 20-08-64
Account Number: 13310280
If you’re a UK taxpayer eligible for GiftAid, please download the form below.
We value anyone who offers to give their time to help run Elayos. If you have a skill set that you think might be useful to help us operate, then we’d love to hear from you.
We work on a referral basis. If you, or someone you know is in need of extra support during pregnancy to prevent isolation, then please follow the link below to our referral form.
We’d love to hear from you, whether you’d like to get involved, use our services or simply find out more about Elayos. Please fill out the form and we’ll respond as soon as we can.