The Women’s Health Center at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center will host its second annual Baby Expo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
Last year, more than 600 signed in at the event, and the hospital expects even more visitors this year, said Capt. Renee Hart, labor and delivery nurse.
“There will be more than 30 vendors, 27 educational tables and three food trucks,” Hart said.
Once signed in, patients will receive a bingo card with each box filled with the name of an educational table. The boxes will be marked after families visit the tables, and the families will be entered into a raffle. Raffle prizes vary, from breast pumps to hospital gift baskets filled with new parent supplies.
“The educational tables are even more popular than the vendors,” Hart said.
Topics at the tables include infant nutrition, breast feeding, circumcision, hypertension, contraception, infant safety, postpartum depression, postpartum physical training, midwifery, epidurals and other birth options, the hospital admissions process and other subjects pertaining to pregnancy through the first year of a child’s life.
Many vendors will give away samples of their items, including safety plugs for electrical sockets and organic baby food.
The hospital will have information on its centering program, which includes group discussion meetings led by a midwife for mothers with similar due dates, in conjunction with their medical appointments. This service is very popular at the hospital, Hart said, and includes activities such as belly casting.
For those not yet expecting, there will be information about fertility options and pre-pregnancy concerns.
“Providers really stepped up to the plate,” Hart said.
Hospital staff members volunteer at the event, and visitors are welcome to ask questions on any topic.
Children are invited to play in an inflatable bounce house and participate in the diaper derby, a race for babies up to 1 year old. Fathers can enter into a diaper change race on a baby doll, and adults can play “potty pong,” which requires participants to throw ping-pong balls into child potties.
Fort Hood fire fighters will give older children instructions on fire safety. And the last event of the day will be a baby dance off to Disney tunes.
Soon-to-be-parents can also tour the hospital and visit the delivery floor, easing any of their concerns about what to expect upon admission when the time comes, Hart said.