Haven seeks help from medical grads
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Haven for new mothers

Haven seeks help from medical grads

Unique local initiative, Haven for new mothers and babies, is reaching out to medical graduates with hopes that further study might boost government support.

Dr Sam Menahem and Raizel Fogel. Photo: Peter Haskin
Dr Sam Menahem and Raizel Fogel. Photo: Peter Haskin

COMMUNITY member Raizel Fogel, who is best known as the owner of kosher catering business Eshel, has been doing much more for the community than providing top-tier dishes and bite-sized delights.

For years, Fogel has created space for new mothers in her own home where she takes care of laundry, cooks and arranges for professionals to assist with breastfeeding issues, should they arise and at no cost.

She believes being able to give mothers time and space to rest with their babies before returning home equipped with the confidence and skills to take care of their child is a service that should be offered on a far greater scale.

In the US and Israel, similar initiatives are popular but currently in Australia, Fogel reports that there is little help for new mothers unless they require medical care due to complications.

The mother of six, grandmother of 45 and great-grandmother of eight, believes healthy mothers still need that extra bit of care and nurturing. “They blossom here, they just blossom,” she said.

While a study was previously completed by a Melbourne University student who documented 12 new mothers Fogel was caring for, the recently established initiative called Haven for new mothers and babies, is now reaching out to medical graduates and other allied health professionals to consider the unique initiative as a research topic for further study, including for a PhD or Masters degree.

Fogel expects the study will be able to follow the experience of 30 or more women in her care and hopes that it will include a comparison between new mothers who have received this additional care and those who haven’t.

She is optimistic that a more comprehensive study will urge the government to back the idea, providing Haven’s board with the means to upscale this project. With funding, board members including Fogel, Professor Sam Menahem, Yossi Aron, Glen Eira Councillor Sam Parasol, Monash University Professor Margaret Hay and Talilah May, are aspiring to open up a facility within the heart of the Jewish community to be able to support an ongoing stream of new mothers.

Fogel will also be looking to acquire funding from Bendigo Bank Caulfield, which Parasol –founder of the bank branch – says he is ready to support.

Anyone interested in being part of this initiative as a research topic for further study can contact Fogel on 0418 418 718 or by email at orders@eshel.com.au, or contact Dr Menahem at Samuel.Menahem@monash.edu or Professor Margaret Hay at Margaret.Hay@monash.edu

The initiative’s new logo.

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