CRDAMC brings back its Baby Expo

By Rodney JacksonMarch 17, 2023

The Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center hospital staff was excited to invite the community back to its eighth annual Baby Expo at the main hospital March 11.

The expo was the first since 2019 due to COVID-19 and is designed to provide health education and promotion of various perinatal topics for new and expectant parents, beneficiaries who are pregnant, post-partum or who have delivered within the past year.

“Our goals for the Baby Expo are to increase awareness and attendance of classes like prenatal breastfeeding or breastfeeding support group, and other childbirth preparedness support offered at the hospital as well as awareness of community resources offered,” said Maj. Christie Lang, clinical nurse specialist, CRDAMC. “We also wanted to highlight maternal child health patient experiences such as safe sleep and promote wellness to new parents and infants while having a successful and fun event.”

The hospital staff and Army Community Services offered over 20 education tables with information like birth experiences, birth and breastfeeding support, health and fitness, nutrition, postpartum care and car seat safety.

There was also a daddy boot camp and new parent support table geared towards new fathers. Guests also were offered the chance to tour the hospital’s labor and delivery department.

“The tour gave expectant parents a chance to ask questions about their upcoming stay, manage inpatient expectations, and to get them comfortable with the room they will deliver their baby,” Lang said.

Lessons on diaper changing and swaddling techniques were provided to dads at the daddy boot camp, giving them an opportunity to learn and/or practice and get hands-on experience in infant care.

“I was surprised at how eager individuals were when given the chance to participate,” said Staff Sgt. Candice Flowers, practical nursing specialist and noncommissioned officer-in-charge, labor and delivery. “The dads had a lot of fun. Moms got a chance to observe dads’ techniques, and there was a little competition if the parents wanted to race each other. There was a lot of joking around, all in good fun, but definitely a great time.”

Visitors participated in baby shower games and diaper cake giveaways, while dads got to experience the added weight, about 40 pounds and the pressure on the body that mothers experience during a pregnancy by wearing the empathy pregnancy simulator.

“Dads who chose to wear our empathy belly got a better understanding of what mom is going through, and many moms were very eager for them to wear it,” said Terry Babin, registered nurse, New Parent Support Group. “Many of the dads were surprised at how it affected their movement even for simple activities such as tying their shoes.”

The program offers services such as home visitation, parenting classes and play morning. It offers couples opportunities to register for the parenting classes like Boot Camp for New Dads, and Infant Care and Wellness, offered monthly. Both mom and dad can participate, speak directly to the instructor, and ask questions in an informal setting.

New and expectant parents can contact the Army Community Service for more information at (254)-288-4227, or and CRDAMC labor and delivery at (254)-288-8109, or