Health district holds expo for new, expectant moms

URBANA — New and expectant moms can learn more about pregnancy, the postpartum time and breastfeeding at the free Mommy and Baby Expo being hosted by the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District.

It will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lincoln Square, Urbana, in the west wing.

The expo is open to all expectant and new moms, and children are welcome. The first 200 moms to arrive will get free goodie bags, says Linda Steinberg, a peer counselor with the health district.

There will be information about breastfeeding and local support services in the community, labor and delivery options, postpartum care, infant care, and health and wellness, along with free samples and 15 raffle prizes, she said.

The district wants to empower moms in the community to reach their breastfeeding goals, Steinberg said.

Breast milk contains disease-fighting antibodies, and breastfed babies are better protected against sudden infant death syndrome and many illnesses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The health district is also inviting breastfeeding moms to participate in a national communal breastfeeding event called the Big Latch On, taking place from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Friday at the health district at 201 W. Kenyon Road, C, and Saturday at Lincoln Square.

Participants signup when they arrive, and at 10:30 a.m. everyone breastfeeds their babies for 2 minutes, the same time this event takes place at other locations throughout the U.S.

The event runs beyond the breastfeeding time for moms to socialize. Snacks and beverages are provided.

"Last year, we found a lot of the moms liked to hang out and enjoy each other's company," Steinberg said.

There were 25 women participating in the Big Latch On through the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District last year, Steinberg said, and she hopes for more women to get involved this year.

"If we could have at least 35 moms, that would be great," she said.

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