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March 15, 2013
By Sgt. Krista Bayford, 10th PCH
Army.mil

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (March 15, 2013) -- Baby talk filled the halls of Womack Army Medical Center on Saturday as nearly 400 expecting Families attended a Maternity Fair.

In its tenth year, the fair offers information to Families who are expecting a child, new parents, or Families wishing to start a Family in the future.

"It's the quickest way to get all pertinent information out to our patients regarding pregnancy and the birthing process at Womack," said Tracey Stevens, childbirth educator, WAMC.

The event provided information on crib and car seat safety, centering programs, contraception, breastfeeding, childbirth education classes, and pregnancy and postpartum physical training. There were also tours of the labor and delivery department at Womack and preview classes from Army Community Service New Parent Support Program.

"It is important for us to talk to expectant parents about the severity of shaken baby syndrome, crib safety and sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS," said Bianca Gantt, licensed clinical social worker, New Parent Support Program. "We are committed to helping parents create a very safe environment for new babies."

Pregnancy can prove to be difficult or stressful for military Families due to their Family support system that may not be in town or easily accessed.

"It is a relief to know all of the support that we have because we need it," said Jessica Edmiston, military spouse, who is 28 weeks pregnant and whose family is in Oklahoma.

She also added that given her husband and her busy work schedules, the fair was ideal and provided something other than the traditional way of distributing information.

With nearly 270 babies born at WAMC each month, there are many parents who are searching for information regarding what's available for them at the hospital.

"We want Soldiers and their Families to know that the Department of Defense has a process in place to empower them with knowledge of pregnancy," said Stevens. "My job and the fair is to reassure expecting parents that are going to be well-equipped, awesome parents."

For more information on the next fair scheduled, or any of the items discussed at the maternity fair, contact Tracy Stevens at 907-6158.