Baby Expo at Darnall Army Medical Center

New dads-to-be test their diaper changing skills at the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center at the hospital's 2016 Baby Expo on Saturday, October 15, 2016.

Amy Proctor

Families with babies under the age of 1, as well as expectant parents, enjoyed a nice break Saturday at the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center’s fourth annual Baby Expo, which took place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the main hospital.

At the event, which was open to military families and community members alike, attendees gained valuable information and resources, met other families and hospital staff and even nabbed a few samples along the way.

“We wanted to provide a large, one-stop shop opportunity for families who are getting ready to have a baby or have recently given birth,” said hospital commander Col. Mark Thompson. “We have a lot of new parents and young families at Fort Hood, and there’s a lot to know, so while we offer year-round education, the purpose of this event is to try to offer everything in one setting. It also allows us to show off our new hospital and staff, who are excited to share what they know with our families.”

During the event, guests perused the 50 vendor and exhibitor booths present at the expo, some which advertised products such as breastfeeding equipment, baby gear and even baked goods to support milk supply, while others provided information and resources on key pre- and post-natal topics like fitness and nutrition and how to swaddle an infant.

A “daddy” panel was even available for new dads to chat with seasoned fathers.

Storm Davis, a military spouse who is expecting her first child in February, saw a poster advertising the expo and decided to check it out.

“I heard that there was going to be a lot of good information and helpful giveaways,” she said. “I’m also interested in having a doula (birth advocate) so I definitely wanted to check out that booth.”

Another spouse, Chelsea Bean, was familiarizing herself with resources available to her family after having moved from Italy just one week before.

“This is my second child, but I still want to know what options are available to me in the way of birthing classes and breastfeeding support,” she said.

Darnall offers many sources of education for expectant and new parents, including twice a month prenatal education classes in the evening, breastfeeding classes once a month and “drop-in” breastfeeding support every Tuesday and Thursday from 9 to 10:30 a.m.

For more information on mother and infant resources, contact the Women’s Health Center at 254-288-8109.

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