Methodist Hospital Northlake showers new moms with information - January 26, 2016

Courtesy of The Post-Tribune

January 26, 2016, 7:27 pm

BY SUE ELLEN ROSS Post-Tribune

Usual participants at a baby shower are the expectant mom, the hostess and a few guests.

But at the recent Baby Steps Community Baby Shower hosted by Methodist Hospital Northlake, 24 new or expectant mothers were on hand, along with their families.

“We wanted to expand what we do for local families,” said Errika Denham, family resources specialist for Healthy Families, one of the event sponsors. “This shower is one way for us to reach out and bridge the gap for information.”

Mental Health America of Lake County program coordinator Vickie Rainwater said the event brought together many important resources for families.

“This is a nice way to welcome in the babies and educate the parents,” she said as she welcomed guests. “We’ve brought together a good variety (of vendors.)”

Geared toward pregnant mothers and mothers with infants up to 6 months, the morning of fun included presentations from vendors Fagen Pharmacy, Healthy Families of Indiana, Indiana WIC, Purdue Extension Nutrition Education Program, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and Babies R Us.

The purpose of the event was to educate families about the resources available in the community to provide healthy development and lifelong well being for their children.

Mother of three and new Mom-to-be Joyce Owens of Gary said that up-to-date information to raise healthy babies is very much appreciated. “Not only technology has changed, but attitudes about pregnancy have also,” she said, as she visited vendors during a break in the morning schedule. “And you can never have too much baby information.”

Although only eight gift baskets were raffled off, none of the Moms went home empty handed.

Vendor giveaways were distributed and all families received a free portable playpen from Healthy Families.

Mom-to-be Bonnie Fitts of East Chicago said she wanted to be 100 percent ready for her new little one. “I’m not there yet,” she added. “I do know some things about baby care, but there’s always more to learn.”

Indeed, many topics were discussed, such as the proper way for a baby to sleep to prevent sudden infant death syndrome. There is no concrete reason why SIDS happens, the audience was told, but it’s suggested that babies are placed on their back to sleep.

Among the many other tips given for proper baby care were the importance of placing a baby at alternate ends of the crib to help them see different scenarios, keeping the room temperature at steady 70 degrees, using car seats and carriers only when traveling and using a firm crib mattress in a “naked” crib — no stuffed animals, blankets or bumper pads.

The community baby shower was the second one hosted at Methodist Hospital Northlake, and a third will take place in spring at Methodist Hospital Southlake.

Sue Ellen Ross is a freelance writer for the Post-Tribune.