GREENVILLE — All pregnant, and breastfeeding moms and their support people were invited to the 5th Annual Women, Infants and Children (WIC) “Mommy and Me Shower,” on Friday.
The Greenville City Park shelter was packed as people gathered helpful information about the breastfeeding process. Different vendors were available to to support them with their breastfeeding decisions, such as: the Ohio Department of Health’s “Help Me Grow” program, a free program for Ohio’s expectant parents and children aged birth to three years and their families; different Medicaid providers, Obstetrics and Gynecology Educator for Wayne HealthCare Lori Geesaman, Greenville Township Rescue and the Darke County La Leche League.
The shower was hosted by Breastfeeding Coordinator Darke/Mercer counties WIC Program Sara Seger and Peer Helper for the Darke County WIC Program Taris Harlow. It took place in conjunction with National Breastfeeding Month. According to Seger, the event draws in a larger crowd each year.
“We want to support moms,” Seger said. “We are here to promote breastfeeding and educate moms about breastfeeding and to guide them in good decisions. Sometimes I feel in a very rural community the information is hard to find. That is why we try to bring everyone together, so when moms come here they can see all the resources they have available to them in Darke County.”
Courtney Elson, of Greenville, attended the event with her eight-month-old son Ash. She said the event provides a lot of support for new nursing moms.
“I didn’t know a lot of this when I was pregnant,” Elson said. “There are all sorts of people here, who have lots of valuable information. I didn’t know that it is legal for me to nurse my son wherever I want. I can’t be kicked out of Walmart for breastfeeding my child. I didn’t know that before.”
As for breastfeeding, Elson said “absolutely do it.”
“I love the bond with my son,” she said. “He is coming up on a year old and my husband I are talking about weaning him off and it makes me sad. WIC is a really great support system to have close to home; it is right here. Taris (Harlow) is great. When Ash was first born, she called about every two weeks to check on us. She let me know about growth spurts that were coming and things to expect. She was always available to call when I had questions. They are very understanding and helpful.”
The event ended with a drawing, awarding attendees prizes, such as: diapers, gift cards and hair styling products. Seger said the shower is impossible to have without community support.
“WIC is a non-profit,” Seger said. “Everything was provided here today by our community. We are very, very grateful.”
Sponsors for the event include: Attitudes on Fourth; Bob Evans; The Boppy Company; Bread of Life; Brenda’s Beanery; Buckeye Health Plan; Drees Dairy Barn; Domino’s; Double M Diner; Family Health Services; Fort Wayne Zoo; Hot Head Burritos; JT’s Brew & Grill; Jumpy’s Fun Zone; KitchenAid; Las Marias; Marco’s Pizza; Merle Norman; Montage; Roots Hair Salon; Snap Fitness; Teaford’s Pizza, Subs & More; We Knead U Massage; The Whistle Stop; Vint’s Restaurant and the YMCA of Darke County.