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Scott’s Family Advocacy Program hosts baby shower, provides parent/newborn support

(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chad Gorecki)

Scott Air Force Base’s Family Advocacy Program hosted a baby shower for expecting military families Apr. 5, at the Scott Event Center.Throughout the event, prizes were raffled out to the families, and all of the families received a “baby bag,” which contained supplies for the expecting parents. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Chad Gorecki)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Scott Air Force Base’s Family Advocacy Program hosted a baby shower for expecting military families Apr. 5, at the Scott Event Center.

The purpose of the event was to provide support to expecting families through information, education, service linkage, and base and community agencies, explained Mauranda Bembry, Family Advocacy outreach manager.

“Our main mission … is the safety and protection of our babies and our families,” said Bembry. “We want to make sure people are educated on how to take care of their babies, how to take care of themselves, and know what else is available for them on base to support them and their families.”

Approximately 100 Scott family members attended the shower and had the opportunity to talk with multiple agencies including the Airman Family Readiness Center, the Scott Spouses’ Club and St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.

Throughout the event, prizes were raffled out to the families, and all of the families received a “baby bag,” which contained supplies for the expecting parents. The prizes and the event were solely funded by donations from base and community organizations.

“Any and all support is appreciated and much needed,” said Bembry. “We are hoping we will be able to do this every year, not only to gift families with nice gifts for their babies but also gift them with education, information and support. That’s really where our heart lies and where the mission is.”

The shower also provided the opportunity for the FAP and others to provide guidance to families about the challenges they will face and the support agencies and programs in place to support them.

The key note speaker, Capt. Monisha Brown, 375th Medical Operations Squadron, spoke about post-partum depression and its impact on families.

Because April is the National Child Abuse Prevention Month, Chantel Zurita, a New Parent Support Program registered nurse, also spoke about the period of purple crying [excessive periods of crying] and preventing “shaken baby syndrome” [which can cause permanent brain damage or death] during the event as well.

 In addition, FAP is also hosting Common Sense Parenting classes on April 17 and 24, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Education Center and also a family movie night April 27 at the Base Library Auditorium at 7 p.m. as part of Child Abuse Prevention month.

Bembry said that FAP offers a lot to families on base and that getting the word out is very important.

“We want the people to know we provide array of support including prevention, services, outreach, and classes. We really want people to see us differently and access our services in a way that will benefit them.”