The Healthy Start Coalition for Bay, Gulf and Franklin counties held its annual Baby Shower event to provide new and expectant parents with information to promote positive birth outcomes set them up for success.


The Healthy Start Coalition for Bay, Gulf and Franklin counties held its annual Baby Shower event to provide new and expectant parents with information to promote positive birth outcomes set them up for success.



In attendance were 67 expectant and new mothers who gathered information on topics of interest which included car seat safety, safe sleeping, substance abuse, parenting and childbirth, breastfeeding and the dangers of shaking an infant.



“It can happen so easily,” said Healthy Start Director, Sharon Owens, “you don’t even realize it.”



During Thursday’s festivities at the Centennial Building, hosted by Healthy Start Coalition Program Coordinator Kelly Byrns-Davis, many door prizes were given out during the event and staying in line with the baby shower theme, several fun games were played including a take on The Price Is Right where contestants attempted to guess the value of a baby-related item.



The mother who wagered the closest guess took the item home. New and soon-to-be fathers weren’t left out and participated in diaper-changing games.



Sarah Hinds, Health Education Program Manager for the Florida Department of Health in Gulf County attended the baby shower as both a supporter and as an expectant mother. She praised the event for connecting new mothers with resources dedicated to helping them succeed with their children.



“As anew mom-to-be, I spend hours researching healthy tips and reading ‘expert’ opinions,” said Hinds. “It can feel overwhelming when recommendations from materials are contradicted.”



Panama City OB/GYN Dr. Gregory Morrow, M.D. spoke to those in attendance about the importance of smoking cessation, the health risks associated with tobacco use and the dangers it can pose on unborn and young children.



At the closing of the baby shower, the grand door prize, a $200 gift certificate to the Walmart in Callaway was given away to one lucky mother-to-be.



“I can truly say that I feel much more at ease and all of my questions, so far, have been answered,” said Hinds. “I would like to thank the Bay, Franklin and Gulf Healthy Start Coalition for continuing to promote this beneficial event.”



Catering for the event was provided by Subway and 32 vendors set up tables, passed out free information to the soon-to-be parents and donated door prizes.



Healthy Start gives guidance to anyone with a baby up to three years of age. There are no eligibility requirements and new parents can call 800-895-9506 with questions. The Florida Association of Healthy Start Coalitions has 32 branches across the state all working to improve pregnancy outcomes, reduce infant mortality rates and promote healthy growth and development in all children.