June 21, 2022
Free Baby Bloom Event Focuses on Growing Healthy Families and Babies
EveryStep’s Healthy Start program and the Community Action Network are hosting a free event for new and expecting families on Saturday, June 25 from noon to 4 p.m. at Martin Luther King Park in Des Moines. “Baby Bloom” is a resource fair and community building event for pregnant and one-year postpartum families designed to raise awareness, and provide education and support for healthy pregnancies and babies.
EveryStep Healthy Start manager Lanette Nelson says one focus of the event will be Black maternal mortality. “Institutional racism, provider bias, not being heard, lack of health care equity — these have all been identified as contributors to Black maternal mortality,” says Lanette. “Would you want to go to the doctor if you felt you were being mistreated or wouldn’t be heard? You might put off going or not go at all.”
Lanette says it’s important to speak up and find support if you have questions or concerns that are not being addressed by your provider. “It’s okay to say if you are not okay. It might be in the way you feel, the way you have been treated, or if you’re not being heard. If you’ve been shut down or dismissed, you don’t need to stop there. Demand to be heard or to speak to others. There are advocates out there, like case managers, doulas, patient advocates and others, that can help you. Lean on them for support as you navigate a complex and sometimes intimidating health system and know that you know yourself and your body better than anyone else.”
The Baby Bloom event is a free community event with food, children’s activities, music by DJ Hollywood and a raffle to win car seats, gift cards, a crib and mattress, a stroller and more. The first 200 attendees will receive a bag filled with health and wellness items, baby supplies and diapers. In addition, attendees can:
- Find out how to get free baby supplies, including diapers, car seats, formula and more.
- Get access to resources like WIC, Hawki (low-cost or free health insurance), transportation and other support services.
- Learn how to stay healthy before, during and after pregnancy.
- Learn how to navigate your health and your baby’s health when talking to doctors or providers.
- Visit with a nurse, and get free iron and blood pressure checks (for pregnant individuals).
For more information about EveryStep’s Heathy Start program and to find support for your pregnancy and family with children up to age 6, visit https://www.everystep.org/provider-resources/healthy-start-and-empowerment-family-support-projects/healthy-start. For information about the Community Action Network and its partners, visit https://www.everystep.org/provider-resources/community-action-network/CAN.