Advancing perinatal mental
health and well-being: The
DC Mother-Infant Behavioral
Wellness Program
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For a staggering number of women, pregnancy is not a time of joy


women are affected by mental health disorders during or after pregnancy


of depressed women go undiagnosed. Half of diagnosed women go untreated


Black women suffer from maternal psychological distress

You’re not alone

Fortunately, Mommy&Me has the tools to effectively find and treat these women; intervening early can help D.C. babies enjoy the strongest start at life.

Our overall goal at Mommy&Me is to partner with former patients, moms with experience giving birth in D.C. and other members of low-income Black communities to develop and test different approaches to overcome obstacles and achieve health equity by providing effective mental health screening and care. Our patient partners spoke loudly and clearly: It’s too difficult to get mental health care in D.C., and it ends too quickly. So, participants will remain in the study up to 12 months after delivery. And our Mommy&Me study also will include women who do not yet meet criteria for being diagnosed with major depression or anxiety.


Contact us to join Mommy&Me
+1 202.476.2192
Read the Mommy&Me flyer

All the fields are required


Mommy&Me strives to find and effectively treat low-income Black women receiving prenatal care at our three recruiting sites and intervening early to help D.C. babies enjoy the strongest start at life.

Who can participate
Low-income pregnant women who are Black or of African descent and who are older than 18 years. Study participants must speak English and receive prenatal care at George Washington University, Howard University or Unity Health Care.
Who may not participate
  • Pregnant women:

  • Who are younger than 18 or older than 45

  • Who are under the influence of a substance/experiencing active psychosis

  • Who are not Black or of African descent

What should I expect?
  • You will complete a number of questionnaires to assess your mood and overall health of you and your baby. This will occur during pregnancy and until your baby is 12 months old.

  • You will be randomly assigned to participate in the intervention. This means connecting with a maternity care specialist, receiving individual or group therapy, and an optional peer support group during and after your pregnancy. We anticipate these interventions will reduce depression, anxiety and stress that you may experience during and after pregnancy.

  • After your baby is born, we will meet with you and your newborn to ask about your infant’s health and development. We also will measure how you and your newborn are bonding. Our team will continue to monitor your baby’s development up to his or her first birthday.

Will I be paid?
  • Study participants will receive up to $270 to $450 in total compensation, if you complete all questionnaires and attend all therapy sessions. This includes $10 per session toward transportation expenses for any in-person interventions.

Our recruiting sites

Meet the Mommy&Me team

Joelle’s diverse training, education and clinical experience have made her a well-rounded, multi-dimensional professional who works to mitigate maternal and child health crises for the overall improvement of health care

Full bio

Hermela is excited to bring her talents to the Mommy&Me project to improve birthing experiences and maternal mental health outcomes in Washington, D.C.

Full bio
Lead Perinatal Behavioral Specialist

Morgan is excited to join the DBI team and to continue working to support mothers and families through the Mommy&Me study

Full bio
Perinatal Behavioral Associate

Rosa is passionate about maternal mental health and is excited to support perinatal participants through her role on the Mommy&Me team

Full bio

Cole’s previous experiences working with patients as well as within research settings developed his passion for improving healthcare equity while spurring a deep appreciation for the intersection of medicine and the environment

Full bio
Perinatal Behavioral Health Specialist

Naimah is honored to continue empowering, educating and supporting the perinatal population in her role on the Mommy&Me team.

Full bio

Meet our Peer Support Group Facilitators

Nandi is happy the Mommy&Me study has go-to people to help moms cope with challenges that come their way

Full bio
Mommy&Me Virtual Mommy Meet-ups

Gigi is passionate about motherhood and wants other women to receive the best care possible during pregnancy, birth and delivery, and the postpartum period

Full Bio
Mommy&Me Virtual Mommy Meet-ups

Mercedes created Virtual Mommy Meet-ups to enable mothers who experienced postpartum depression to talk with other women who feel and felt the same way

Full Bio
Mommy&Me Virtual Mommy Meet-ups

Each project Stephanie has worked on has continuously motivated her to make a positive impact on the lives of young people and others in her community.

Full Bio
Read the news release