Cards. Flowers. Breakfast in bed. It's all part of the Mother's Day tradition.
But this Mother's Day weekend, expectant moms across Appalachian Ohio can take a pause from the celebration to brush up on prenatal health, thanks to a Women's Week grant awarded through the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Athens' inaugural Pregnancy Fair will take place Saturday, May 9, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at The Market on State (formerly the University Mall). Hosted by The Birth Circle, a local support group for pregnant women and their partners, the event will feature hourly educational sessions and showcase a variety of local pregnancy resources. All events are free and open to the public.
"The goal of the Pregnancy Fair is to bring Athens' whole birthing community -- OBs, midwives, doulas, nurses, etc. -- together for a fun, family event," said Molly Wales, executive director of The Birth Circle.
The educational sessions, led by local experts, will focus on empowering parents to make healthy choices for themselves and their babies during pregnancy, labor and the postpartum period. Topics include how to have a low-risk pregnancy, prenatal nutrition and exercise, resources for pregnant teens and postpartum health, among others.
Booths will offer information on settings for birth, childcare options, locally made baby products and services to help parents prepare for a new baby.
"The value of health promotion in pregnancy should not be underestimated," said Jane Broecker of River Rose Obstetrics & Gynecology, which will be hosting an informational booth at the fair. "The Birth Circle has arranged an event that will help women and families learn more about pregnancy options and the wide range of choices for pregnancy-related care available within our community."
Grant-funding for the Pregnancy Fair was provided through OU-COM's Area Health Education Center / Consortium for Health Education in Appalachia Ohio and the Ohio Department of Health, which have teamed up to implement educational activities centered on women's health during Women's Health Week, May 1-16.
Funders of the Women's Week grant include the Ohio Department of Health, Office of Healthy Ohio, Bureau of Health Promotion and Risk Reduction, and the Violence and Injury Prevention Program. Other sponsors of the Pregnancy Fair include Holzer Clinic, La Leche League of Athens, Lamaze International, River Rose Obstetrics & Gynecology and University Medical Associates.