With funding in part from the Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio-based Baby 1st Network, Mercy Medical Center Mission Outreach recently held “Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies,” a baby shower for new and expectant mothers, fathers, and grandparents. About 30 adults attended this educational event at Mercy at St. Paul Square in northeast Canton.
Guest speakers included Janine Lundgren, RN, Mercy Maternity Services; Regina Ravine, RN, lactation consultant, Mercy Maternity Services; Tiffany Belknap, public health nurse with the Stark County Health Department; Amber Brasill, outreach coordinator for Help Me Grow; and Shelley Toot, breastfeeding peer helper at Mercy Health Center of Carroll County, which coordinates Carroll County WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children). The speakers offered free resources and information about skin-to-skin care, safe sleep environment, and breastfeeding.
According to Tenicia James, coordinator, Mercy Mission Outreach, infant mortality is the most recent impetus behind community baby showers, which Mercy has offered for several years in southeast and northeast Canton. Those who attended Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies enjoyed refreshments, received baby item give-aways, and watched a video about safe sleep, playing bingo using important terminology from the movie. Each guest also had the opportunity to create a safe sleep environment using a new Pack ‘N Play. At the end of the program, there was a drawing for the Pack N’ Play.
“After the event, several of our community partners told me this group of parents and grandparents were the most engaged she had yet seen at a community baby shower,” says James. “The biggest reason for our success was personal outreach.”
In advance of the event, James and Carolyn Blabec, BS, LPN, St. Paul Square, twice called everyone who expressed interest in coming. Mercy Mission Outreach is now exploring the idea of a support group for the parents who attended because nothing like that exists currently in northeast Canton.
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About Baby 1st Network
The Baby 1st Network, located in Cuyahoga Falls, OH, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. The organization’s evolution began approximately 36 years ago with five localized support groups throughout the state of Ohio. Collectively, these five support groups decided to come together and to create an entity based on their grass roots efforts. In 1998, the SID Network of Ohio was established with its primary mission to provide support for families who experienced the loss of an infant to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). In addition, education and resources was provided in an effort to reduce the risk of SIDS. Over time the organization expanded its efforts to reduce all Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) through the promotion of infant health and wellness, community outreach and education. The organization continued its commitment to providing bereavement services which expanded its support to families who lost a child, up to the age of two. Read more at baby1stnetwork.org.
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