Mothers shine at baby shower

PARKERSBURG – Nearly 100 expectant mothers and those with newborns received valuable information on available programs and services during Friday’s annual Wood County Community Baby Shower at South Parkersburg Baptist Church.

Lisa Weaver, program specialist with the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia, said the annual program has been organized for the past several years by a steering committee of local nonprofit agencies and programs in Wood County that serve children and families.

Friday’s shower included a healthy lunch, along with tips and advice for pregnant women and families on how to prepare healthy foods, along with educational activities, demonstrations and discussions. About 40 exhibitors participated in the program, offering information about their services and programs.

“The event is designed to educate women about healthy pregnancies and about parenting,” Weaver said.

The program is for pregnant women and mothers with children under 12 months old. Nearly 100 women registered for the event and could bring their babies and a guest. Weaver said it was not an event for the general public, with the women coming by invitation or referral from the various participating agencies.

Toni Tiano, with the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Highway Safety Program, was offering child seat inspections and had some child seats available at no charge for those who needed them.

“Our highway safety grant provides a limited number of child safety seats to those who are in need of seats,” she said.

Ashlee Gregory, of Parkersburg, was at Friday’s shower with her 2-month-old daughter Peyton. She learned about it from one of the exhibitors and decided to attend.

“I just wanted to find any extra resources that can help me be a better first-time parent,” she said, adding she was looking forward to exploring everything Friday’s program had to offer.

Shannon Morgan, parent partner with West Virginia Birth to Three Region 2, said events like Friday’s shower program are important for providing information about available resources and programs in the county.

The goal is “getting the information out to parents that there are services available that can help in raising a child. Early intervention is the most key between zero to 3 years old,” she said.

The organizers included the Healthy Community Coalition of Wood County, West Virginia Birth to Three, Partners in Prevention of Wood County and the Children’s Home Society of West Virginia.