Community baby shower shines light on connections


By Sue Cody

“When you have healthy families, you have a healthy society,” says Rebeckah Orton, a North Star Doula in Astoria.

Healthy families start with healthy births.

W2W Community Baby Shower

“It came to my attention that there are a lot of people, organizations and businesses that support moms and have a vested interest in their success in positive birth experiences, postpartum and breastfeeding relationships,” says Orton.

Many women feel isolated. They may be far away from family members or don’t have the support they would like. One way of connecting mothers to those who want to encourage them is to host a community baby shower, to let women know they are not alone.

Columbia Memorial Hospital partnered with North Star Doulas and many smaller businesses to sponsor a community baby shower. All women who have given birth or plan to give birth in 2018 are invited, along with one support person. The event is 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 11, at the Loft in the Red Building, 20 Basin St., Astoria. To register, go to

There will be games, gifts and prizes along with useful information. The Welcome Baby Project will provide totes with educational tools and gifts for those who have not already received them.

Several providers offer their expertise at a roundtable at 10-minute intervals:

• A doctor shares what she would like women to know before a prenatal visit. 
• A massage therapist offers a quick tutorial on infant massage. 
• Lactation consultants will discuss common problems and solutions. 

“A lot of women feel alone and are unaware of what is available to them,” says Orton. “Part of the purpose of the baby shower is to connect all the people who love the moms and all the moms who need to be loved.”

A great place to have a baby

There are several factors that make Clatsop County a healthy place to give birth and raise a family, Orton says.

The national average of Caesarian sections in the U.S. is about 33 percent, while at Columbia Memorial it is about 12.5 percent.

“They really go out of their way to give you a positive birth experience,” Orton says.

At Providence Seaside Hospital, all the labor and delivery nurses have IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultants) training.

Orton says Clatsop County WIC (Women, Infants and Children Program) works hard to get moms breastfeeding, helping to grow healthy babies. Northwest parenting offers classes and events. La Leche League and lactation specialists support breastfeeding.

There are lots of parks and resale shops that specialize in baby items. 

Support and gifts

Individuals and groups stepped up to let women know they are supported in this community, Orton says. One woman hand-quilted 24 crib quilts for the infants and a church group sewed 40 receiving blankets. Other gifts include a breastfeeding kit, reusable nursing pads and safe hand sanitizer.

“When people know they have a network and love and support from their community, this impacts them in a positive way,” Orton says.

The Way to Wellville and its sponsor, Columbia Pacific Coordinated Care Organization,  encourage healthy living.