Baby expo delivers information, supplies for new parents
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- New and expecting parents at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, gathered at Club Iwakuni for the 4th Annual Baby Expo Jan. 23, 2016.
The expo had many things to offer present and future parents on the station such as information on the first years as a parent, vendors selling helpful merchandise for the new child, and new parent support groups and programs.
Robert M. Casey Medical and Dental Clinic staff members gave new families helpful information about caring for their newest loved one.
The staff members went over different facts and figures related to raising a child from the average of $12,000 that’s spent in the first year alone to the shots and vaccinations that the child will need to remain healthy.
Joanna Gilbert, clinical nurse at the Branch Health Clinic, said she wanted to make sure the new parents were ready for the challenges ahead of them.
“We brought our providers to let the parents know about their different options for a healthy pregnancy,” said Gilbert. “There’s so much information that people don’t know is out there and unless you seek it out you’ll miss it and we’re here to let them know about all of these programs.”
The expo also housed a number of vendors selling items like baby books, blankets and diapers that can aid couples in beginning their journey as new parents.
“Not many people on base know about some of these awesome things these people are selling so the baby expo is a great way for them to get the word out about what they have to offer,” said Gilbert.
Along with all these services the expo also held a number of representatives from different support groups for everything from breastfeeding to post-partum for new and expecting parents.
Marie Lewis, a resident of MCAS Iwakuni, said she found the information on the support groups that interested her at the expo.
“My husband and I are expecting our first baby in July,” said Lewis. “It’s a difficult time to be in Japan, being away from the support of your friends and family back home, so for us, it’s really important and reassuring to know there is a one stop shop available to new parents.”
Lewis said she liked that all the organizations and programs could be found in one spot making it easier for her to find the help and support she sought.
The Baby Expo is scheduled to return next year to provide new and expecting parents with the information and gear they’ll need to make their transition to being a parent a smooth one.