LANSING, Mich. – Parents and soon-to-be parents in and around Lansing are invited to the Greater Lansing Baby Fair, a free event that connects families to local resources.
The event, organized by the Willow Tree Family Center in partnership with the Ingham County Health Department and nearly 20 local sponsors, will be held at the Lansing Center, located at 333 E Michigan Avenue in Lansing, on Saturday, April 16, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. More than 100 exhibitors and 1,500 attendees are expected. Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum will serve as emcee for the event.
“Part of our mission is to grow strong, empowered families,” said Nicole Greiter, president of Willow Tree Family Center, which founded and has hosted the event since 2014. “Being educated and informed sets the stage for families to make healthy, confident decisions. Research also shows that social connections are protective factors for families. We also want to build community at this fair because peer support is paramount to parental success.”
Exhibitors include Sparrow Health System, McLaren of Greater Lansing, Early On and Great Start, as well as local pediatricians, lactation consultants, midwives, doulas and pediatric dentists. Resources on a variety of topics from car seats to home safety to postpartum depression will be available.
On-site lactation support for breastfeeding mothers, and blood pressure checks and Doppler screenings for expectant mothers will be offered. For children in attendance, the Capital Area District Libraries will be promoting early literacy through story times, crafts and character visits. Other activities include a diaper dash, a parenting café, and a music and dancing workshop for families.
“The prenatal period and the early childhood years are the most important in terms of cognitive, social, and physical development,” said Linda S. Vail, Ingham County Health Officer. “Many health outcomes and disparities can be traced back to the early years, which is why it is critical to support young families. The baby fair is a great way for parents to connect with all the community has to offer.”
The first 250 families in attendance will receive a swag bag filled with coupons, samples and free items. To learn more, visit lansingbabyfair.com
NOTE: Local politicians and media are invited to arrive at 9 a.m. prior to the doors opening for a presentation about infant mortality rates and child development. For media assistance the day of the event, contact Amanda Darche, Health Communication Specialist for the Ingham County Health Department, at (517) 648-9853 or firstname.lastname@example.org
About Willow Tree Family Center: Willow Tree Family Center is a not-for-profit organization that serves pregnant women and young families in the Greater Lansing Area. Its mission is to grow strong, empowered families by providing support groups and educational services for pregnancy, birth and beyond. Willow Tree focuses on providing support prenatally through postpartum through programs such as the Lansing Doula Network, Flourishing Families home visiting program, and over 24 parent support and play groups. Additionally, Willow Tree provides services such as childbirth, parenting, and nutrition classes, a provider directory, a blog and newsletter, and a lending library. For more information please visit www.willowtreefamily.com.