FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital will be opening its doors to pregnant women and new mothers, offering free information and consulting on a range of topics.
“There will be lactation consultants here, along with pediatricians and vendors,” said Renee Lyons, patient care secretary. “There will be information on feeding, wrapping, changing and bathing babies — along with information about cord care. Just about every topic you can think of will be covered.”
The goal of the event is to educate families about the procedure of having a baby, as well as after care.
“It’s very informative for the whole family,” said Lyons. “We’ll be talking about the delivery process, and expectant mothers will have a chance to see the accommodations available at the hospital.”
Belk, Walmart and numerous vendors of child care services and products will be on hand with gifts, gift cards, gift certificates or other giveaways to share.
Among the vendors will be librarian Debbie Knight, sharing a message about the importance of reading to children early.
“I started reading to my child the minute I found out I was pregnant,” Knight said. “If children grow up in a reading household, reading is part of their life. You become a reader, and your children become readers.”
When the baby arrives, Knight advises, keep reading, even while nursing or cuddling. Start out with basic cardboard books and then graduate to feel-and-touch and scratch-and-sniff varieties. Just make sure that the books you share with your child are always age-appropriate.
The important thing is “hearing the voice,” said Knight. “This is how you develop readers so they will always be readers.”
Others guests will include photographer Jimmy McDonald, who will give away a free photography session, First Choice Chiropractic offering “mom massages,” and Tony Anderson of Farm Bureau who will talk to parents about insurance for families.
“Our aim with the Pregnancy Fair is to educate moms regarding how to be prepared for bringing their infant home,” said Nicole Eteo, R.N., Richmond Memorial’s director of Women & Children’s Services.
There is no charge for attending the Richmond Memorial Hospital Pregnancy Fair, and light refreshments will be served. New as well as expectant parents are invited to attend. The event will be held Wednesday, Aug. 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. For more information on attending or on being an exhibitor, call 910-417-3735.
— Staff Writer Kelli Easterling can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.