By Jeanine MezeiJuly 9, 2019
From pregnant first-time mothers to parents with multiple children, Evans Army Community Hospital welcomed a diverse crowd of military families to the Fort Carson 2019 Baby Expo on June 22.
The free, annual event is a collaboration of community organizations and Fort Carson resources available to military families throughout the Pikes Peak region.
The event drew its largest turnout this year with over 600 families visiting the event during its four-hour span.
"Being first-time parents, I thought this would be good for us," said Makayla Layton, who attended with her husband, Spc. LaRue Layton, assigned to 4th Combat Aviation Brigade, 4th Infantry Division. The couple recently found out they are expecting and attended to learn about helpful resources.
"It's giving military personnel and the spouse a chance to get out and see different things, learn different things," said Spc. Layton about the event. "Having new people around you going through the same thing you are going through can be comforting, even with being stationed away from home."
The Saturday event was also an opportunity for working moms to attend without having to take time off or rearrange their schedule.
"It's really nice to have something over the weekend," said Kirsty Burke, a full-time worker and expectant mother. "I can just stop by and get all the information I need in one stop, which is really helpful."
Community organizations on hand to speak with families included Women, Infants and Children (WIC), Military Birth Network, Cooking Matters, Health Net Federal Services, and Community Partnership for Child Development (CPCD) Head Start. Their representatives took the time to speak with parents about a variety of offerings and assistance programs in the area.
Fort Carson services represented at the expo included Army Community Service, the Commissary, AAFES, Army Public Health Command, Department of Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation, Child Youth Services and the Army Wellness Center. EACH also provided Soldiers and civilians from the Mountain Post Birthing Center, Lactation Services, Pharmacy, Iron Horse Family Medicine Clinic, Pediatrics, OB-GYN and Nutrition Care to meet with beneficiaries currently receiving primary care at EACH and welcome expectant mothers preparing to deliver.
"We had a wonderful time and our comments collected reflect that the event was a success and very well received," said Lori Burrell, EACH population health nurse and event organizer. "Many appreciated having the event held within the hospital and the information offered by the services."
Throughout the event, Army Community Service offered live, interactive demonstrations for parents on infant massage, life-saving skills and their Daddy Boot Camp class. Also, over 40 car seat checks were provided by fire department personnel to ensure children's safety.
For expectant mothers with older children, this was an opportunity to refresh their skills and acquire new resources that fit their needs.
"When you have another baby, you are basically a new mom again," said Hilda Alicia Cruz, who recently gave birth to her second child, Adriana Rose Cruz, at EACH. "I wanted to come because I know there is new information and things to learn. I'm very happy they did this baby expo."