A Wesley Chapel licensed therapist wants to help Black women who are expecting a baby or new moms rebound with their mental health amid the pandemic.
Dr. Angel Montfort is a mother of four who specifically takes clients who need help navigating their mental health as moms. She teamed up with virtual maternal health company, Pebble to host free monthly support groups. They're scheduled for the third Thursday of every month. The virtual get together in December is the second meeting.
"I offer my two cents in the beginning about perinatal mental health and some of the different tips and strategies and things you can use," Dr. Angel Montfort said. "But, then to see the way that they interact and to see this gift that they were able to give each other, it was awesome."
Dr. Montfort says the pandemic has brought on increasing feelings of anxiety and depression.
"One of the things that buffers being able to cope with depression and anxiety is to have social support. And that’s something that we don’t have as much access as we did before," she said.
She says the support group is specifically geared toward Black women because of disparities in maternal mortality rates and infant mortality rates.
"Some of the experiences that even the group members were sharing last week is that in these mothering groups there’s often not specific attention given to the different ways in which historically marginalized groups may experience motherhood because it doesn’t apply to everyone in the group," she said. "It may seem inappropriate to talk about."
She says she hopes that the women leave the group feeling empowered.
"That’s going to help us to then structure the way we can interact with our health care providers, to advocate for our health care needs, and to make sure that we’re being heard," Dr. Montfort said.
The next class will be held virtually on December 17 at 1 p.m.
You can sign up for Pebble newsletter alerts and the support group here. Registration is first-come, first-serve and normally starts a week before the class.
You can find more information on Dr. Montfort here.