Community Baby Shower offers support for Clatsop County families

05/03/2019

By Sue Cody

April 29, 2019

Expecting a baby can be stressful, especially if you’re in a new community without the support of friends or family. You can feel lonely and fearful as you deal with pregnancy, prepare for birth – then step into a new life with baby.

“What if the community stepped up to welcome all expectant parents?” asked North Star Doula Rebeckah Orton.

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She got her answer last year with the first Clatsop County Community Baby Shower. It was such a success that it will be back Friday, May 10, for parents of babies due this year. 

Last year, the 150 attendees were able to meet and interact with other families, caregivers, providers, nurses, doulas and others who support healthy births.

This year’s sponsors include North Star Doula Service, Columbia Memorial Hospital, Providence Seaside Hospital, and numerous organizations and businesses that offer gifts, information and emotional support.

“Having a Community Baby Shower is an opportunity to counsel, support, nurture and offer robust resources that clients may not know exist,” Orton says. “The whole goal is to connect local moms with services designed to support them.”

With the theme of “Healthy Mom, Happy Home,” this year’s baby shower focuses on postpartum recovery. “Postpartum” is a period of time following childbirth.

Community partners will cover topics of obstetrics, parenting, birth, postpartum recovery, WIC (the Women, Infants and Children Program), and mental and emotional health.

The evening also includes a free dinner, gifts for each family, and a chance at a drawing for services and items supplied by community businesses and individuals.

 

Focusing on postpartum recovery

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The early weeks after bringing a baby home present their own challenges. “You can’t just bounce back from giving birth and be just fine,” Orton says. “It takes time, and it takes help. We want to normalize the need for support during postpartum.”

North Star Doula Service partners with CMH to offer birth and prenatal education to reduce fear and make families feel more comfortable. Doulas do not make medical recommendations but offer emotional and physical support.

“Everyone deserves the same level of care,” says Shannon Klein, manager of CMH’s Family Birth Center. The hospital offers services to most women giving birth in the area, regardless of where they plan to deliver their baby.

Bringing the community together is a way to make all families feel welcome and learn where they can connect to services, Orton says.

“Supporting families is a great promise for our future.”

 

Community Baby Shower details

For women and partners giving birth in 2019

6 - 8 p.m. Friday, May 10

The Loft at the Red Building, 20 Basin St., Astoria

RSVP required: bit.ly/NSbabyshower

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