Mothers and their babies (and one dad) gathered at the Magnolia Project to discuss childrearing, address any concerns and gain support from each other on October 23 at the Magnolia Moms of Empowerment group parenting class. The group will continue to meet twice a week until next year.
The group invites mothers, and their support partners, whose babies are around the same age to interact while gaining insight and getting feedback from each other. Topics are discussed such as avoiding toxic stress, early childhood development and brain development, importance of immunizations and well-child visits, infant safety, nutrition, second hand smoke exposure, infant massage and more.
Different health experts will facilitate the classes, such as Dr. Mikah Owen, pediatrician from UF Health Jacksonville; Alma Amoran, health educator with the Magnolia Project; and Melanie Bright, the Coalition’s centering coordinator. Magnolia Project Director Sonya Thorpe will be co-facilitating.
At the October 23 meeting, Alma discussed babies picking up on their mom’s feelings. Dr. Owen was asked questions on baby attachment to mom, hernias on the belly button and more.
Moms of Empowerment meetings are funded by a two-year grant received from The Chartrand Family Fund at The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida to provide the group parenting classes. The Fund focuses on early childhood education, K-12 public education reform, and social and emotional mental health for children and youth. The initiative is implemented at the Magnolia Project, the Coalition’s federal Healthy Start program.