Big bash for babies

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Annual event draws crowd of about 200 seeking information, goodies for babies

Breanna A. Rittman
Times Intern

Helping new or expecting parents figure out what to do with that wonderful bundle of joy was the purpose of recent community event.


The Gadsden County Healthy Start Coalition hosted its third Healthy Baby Community Baby Shower on Saturday. It drew a crowd of about 200 and about 15 agencies were on hand to provide valuable information and some helpful giveaways.

Those in attendance were able to receive supplies such as bottles, diapers, and formula donated from the community after completing a needs-assessment form. Attendees also had the chance to win prizes.

“We work with several agencies to create educational programs for pregnant moms,” said Carmita McCall of the Gadsden County Healthy Start Coalition.

North Florida Women’s Care participated in the event, offering information about breast exams and check-ups.
“We want to make sure women have a good healthy pregnancy,” Elonnie Clemons said.

Family and friends were able to come to support the moms-to-be. Mildred Hamm from Havana is expecting another grandchild in August and came to support her daughter and her daughter’s friend.

“Receiving supplies from the baby shower will help us out,” Hamm said.

Many women attended, but the male participation is slowly growing. Janarris Cunningham of Quincy was one of the few men who showed up on Saturday. He is a new father with a son only a month old.

“I feel awkward, but I came here to learn safety tips for my son,” Cunningham said.

Brandy Rogers from Tallahassee is expecting her third child in July. She has not attended the baby shower in previous years but decide to come this year after she saw a flyer at the clinic.

“I’m used to buying what I need on my own, so anything I receive today will be a big help.” Rogers said.

Information was provided by Sonji West from the Gadsden County Extension about the 85210 plan to promote healthy living. Here’s what it means:

8: Adults should get eight hours of sleep and nine hours of sleep is needed for children.
5: Eat a combination of five fruits and veggies a day.
2: Only two hours of screen time, which means people should spend no more than two hours on the computer, playing video games or watching TV.
1: Get at least one hour of exercise each day.
0:- People should drink zero sugary drinks and drink more water.

Angelica Manzano from the Dental Department of Gadsden County was there to offer parent tips on how to care for children’s teeth.

“It is important for parents to wipe the baby’s mouth and to give the baby water after eating,” Manzano said. “Water helps keep food from the gums.”

This was another success for the Gadsden County Healthy Start Coalition. Their mission, “To promote the health and well-being of childbearing age women, children, fathers and families in Gadsden County,” was fulfilled Saturday. They continue to host other programs throughout the year. To learn more about the coalition,visit www.GadsdenCountyHSC.org/.