Winn Army Community Hospital hosted its sixth annual Baby Expo for Fort Stewart area families on Saturday at Club Stewart.
Booths at the event featured everything from information on breastfeeding, nutrition and birth control to local vendors who sell items such as baby photo packages and clothing. More than 1,000 people attended the event, according to Kaytrina Curtis with Winn Army Community Hospital Public Affairs.
For the first time the expo featured a "daddy panel," according to Capt. Megan Jensen, a labor and delivery nurse at Winn as well as the facilitator for the baby expo. The booth
showed fathers how they can have a role in childrearing, such as how to change diapers.
"I think dads are a huge component of any family. Right now there’s kind of a pendulum where dads are stay-at-home dads, too, and I feel that they get left out a lot," Jensen said.
The expo allows military families to have a one-stop-shop to find resources in the community.
"There’s so many people who just got here (to Fort Stewart), they don’t understand what’s available to them, they don’t have any friends here yet. So this is kind of a great way to see what’s available to them," Jensen said.
Angel Jarrard is pregnant with her first child and was at the expo with her husband to see what was offered.
"I’ve talked to my (obstetrician), so I got all my information right now. I’m just here just to check it out because I really haven’t experienced any of this before," she said.
Jarrard said the expo helped first-time moms "get to figure out and get a feel of what you need for the pregnancy and how you’re going to go along with it."
Spc. Mariah Jackson with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, is a mother of two children with another on the way.
This was her first time attending the baby expo.
Jackson said she was hoping to get information "mainly for breastfeeding because, with those two, that was what I had issues with."
Jackson said being a mom in the military is tough. "The hardest is the schedule and different training events we have to go to," she said.
Col. Christopher Warner, commander of Winn Army Community Hospital, said the annual expo is meant for community education and outreach to connect families with resources.
"This is part of our partnership with the community. We’re not just about being a system for healthcare where we’re taking care of you when you’re sick, but being a system for health," Warner said.
More 1,000 babies are born at Winn Army Community Hospital each year and officials expect 100 births in August alone, "so it’s important to us to make sure we’re helping support the community and all of these parents," Warner said.