In effort to help mothers, babies and young families stay safe and healthy, the Stephens and Jefferson County Health Departments and Sooner Success are partnering together with many other organizations to offer the 5th annual Community Baby Shower.
Megan Monteith, MPH, Health Educator, said the shower was a free event from 10 a.m. to noon, Nov. 2 at The Well, located at 913 W Main Street, in Duncan.
“The goal of the Community Baby Shower is to provide a free event that will connect pregnant women and new parents or caregivers of children under the age of two with resources, support, and education on how to keep their infant healthy and safe,” she said. “Infant Mortality continues to be an area of concern for Stephens/Jefferson County. Although the state of Oklahoma has made efforts to reduce infant mortality, Stephens County continues to experience a high infant mortality rate.”
Stephens County has an infant mortality rate of 10.2 per 1,000 live births, according to Monteith.
“This is higher than the state rate of 7.5 per 1,000 live births,” she said. “The infant mortality rate in Stephens County accounted for 2,100 years of potential life lost based on an average age of death in Oklahoma of 75 years.”
Low birth weight and preterm births together are one of the leading causes of death among children less than 1 year of age.
“Low birth weight infants are more at risk of health problems compared to infants born of normal weight, including infection, gastrointestinal problems, delayed motor and social development, and learning disabilities. Low birth weight infants may also be at higher risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease later in life.
The Community Baby Shower will focus on offering information to parents and caregivers on topics related to infant and maternal health and well-being. There will also be a car seat check event with a limited number of no cost car seats.
Along with all of the information, the Community Baby Shower will also offer light refreshments and door prizes.
“This event is a true collaboration with numerous businesses and organizations within Stephens and Jefferson counties,” Monteith said. “Our focus is on pregnant women, newborns, and children up to age 3. This is open to everyone and we want to welcome the entire community to join us in support of keeping little ones healthy and safe.”
For more information contact Monteith at 580-252-0270 or Stephanie Red Elk at 580-291-6730.