Written by: John DeRousie, Custom Marketing Solutions
OSWEGO, NY – Oswego County Opportunities’ WIC program recently collaborated with REACH CNY (Resources, Education, Advocacy and Collaboration for Health) and Oswego Health to host a Community Baby Shower for mothers and expectant mothers involved with the WIC program. An annual event, the Community Baby Shower was spearheaded by REACH CNY, a Central New York non-profit organization, who through education and advocacy, works to ensure access and support for the full range of quality, culturally-sensitive health and human services, reduce teenage pregnancies, and promote the health and well-being of individuals and families.
Facilitated by Kathleen Hayden of REACH CNY, the shower featured an enlightening presentation regarding the expectations of motherhood and the benefits of breastfeeding, as well as education and a demonstration regarding baby-wearing. Kim Kelley, certified lactation counselor with OCO’s WIC program, said that the event was a perfect compliment to the efforts of the program’s peer counselors.
“Our peer advocates, mothers who have previously or are currently breastfeeding, offer the proper education necessary for expectant mothers to successfully begin breastfeeding. They strive to educate, encourage and empower mothers who would like to breastfeed their child. Our peer counselors are an important part of the support system that breastfeeding mothers need. The presentations during the community baby shower use a multi-media approach that enhances what they’ve learned from our peer counselors and provides them with a detailed visual that clearly demonstrates how to properly begin, and continue, breastfeeding their baby. Fathers were also welcome to attend as they play a key roll as a supporter in the mother’s decision to breastfeed,” said Kelley.
As no baby shower is complete without gifts, those in attendance received a variety of items including: diaper bags from Crooked Eye Bag Designs, baby quilts from Lake Country Quilt Guild in Oswego, nursing stools courtesy of Medela; Hygeia manual breast pumps and milk collection kit, and gift bags filled with toys, food, and other baby accessories courtesy of REACH CNY.
“It was an wonderful learning experience for our mothers and I’m happy that we were able to collaborate with REACH CNY and Oswego Health to make this event possible,” added Kelley.
For more information on the benefits of breastfeeding, or the many services offered through the WIC Program, you may visit their main office located at the OCO Oswego Health Center, 10 George Street in Oswego, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., or call them at 315-343-1311, or toll free 1-888-730-3803.
OCO, Inc is a private, non-profit agency that has been supporting communities throughout Oswego County since 1966. As OCO celebrates its 45th anniversary it continues to improve the quality of life in Oswego County by touching the lives of over 28,000 people each year. A member agency of the United Way of Greater Oswego County member agency, OCO provides more than 50 vital services throughout 80 separate locations. For more information visit the website at www.oco.org.