By Kathy Hageman
Dickinson County Public Information Coordinator
New moms and moms-to-be living in Dickinson County are invited to attend the fourth annual Community Baby Shower, back after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The baby shower is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25 in Sterl Hall. Registration begins at 4:30 p.m. The event is only open to pregnant women and post-partum women who have delivered by June 1 or later.
“The goal of the event is to help bring awareness to pregnant and postpartum women, as well as their families and support systems, about the services that are available to them as an individual or as a family, be it transportation services, early childhood services or whatever,” said Dickinson County Health Department Deputy Director Brenda Weaver, RN.
“I think there’s a lack of knowledge of what services are available,” she added.
Typically, the event attracts about 50 to 60 expectant and new moms, along with their spouses, friends and others.
Sixteen vendors, representing groups and organizations from Dickinson County, the region and across the state, are scheduled to attend.
The new moms and pregnant women are asked to register, making them eligible to collect tickets from the vendors to be used for gift basket drawings.
“While the registering is going on, people can help themselves to food, cake and drinks while waiting for the event to start,” Weaver said.
The baby shower begins with introductory remarks, followed by representatives from some of the various agencies presenting information about the services they offer. Afterward, new moms and pregnant women can visit the vendors who interest them and pick up tickets to be used in the drawing for gift baskets. In the past, gifts have included a crib, glider rocker and a breast pump.
“We will also be offering “cocoon” Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), a strategy that protects newborns by vaccinating their close contacts against pertussis with the Tdap vaccine,” Weaver said. “Close contacts include parents, siblings, grandparents, other family members, family friends, child care providers and healthcare staff.
“The cocoon Tdap is specifically geared towards the caregivers other than the mom. We usually have a few people who get that vaccination that night,” Weaver continued.. “I feel like with our vaccination efforts we are being proactive by vaccinating those around infants and small children and minimizing the incidents.”
This year’s event is sponsored by the Dickinson County Health Department through funds provided by the Maternal Child Health Block Grant. West’s Country Mart is donating the cake, Weaver said.
Vendors planning to attend include: The Abilene Public Library, Auburn Pharmacy, Central Kansas Mental Health, Dickinson County Health Department – HD/WIC, Safe Kids Dickinson County/EMS, Heartland Early Education, KS Quitline, Heartland Health Care Clinic, K-State Research and Extension, MomLife, Neighbor 2 Neighbor, OCCK/Infant Toddler Services, Parents as Teachers, Quality of Life Coalition and Riley County Child Care Licensing.
Anyone interested in learning more about the Community Baby Shower and/or other services offered by the Dickinson County Health Department should call the health department at (785) 263-4179.