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DC Department of Health and Washington Hospital Center to Host Healthy DC MOM Baby Shower

Friday, May 7, 2010

DC Department of Health and Washington Hospital Center to Host Healthy DC MOM Baby Shower

This campaign is to increase awareness about infant mortality and healthy and how to have a healthy pregnancy.

Washington, DC –The DC Department of Health (DOH) and the Washington Hospital Center will host the third annual Healthy DC Mom baby shower for 300 pregnant women on Friday, May 7, 2010, as part of a campaign to increase awareness about infant mortality in the District. The Healthy DC Mom Baby shower campaign is part of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty’s continued commitment to address the health of mothers and children living in the District, and will include health experts and community resources that will be available to provide information on prenatal care, post partum depression, safe sleep practices and how to maintain a healthy pregnancy.

“This campaign is essential to the health and well-being of pregnant mothers because it encourages them to commit to 40 weeks of early and continuous prenatal care,” said DOH Director Dr. Pierre Vigilance. “By emphasizing the importance of early and continuous care, it helps motivate more women stay fit, eat right and keep their babies safe and healthy.”

Through the District’s Healthy Start programs and the Managed Care Organizations, women were selected because they have chosen to be a healthy DC Mom and keep themselves informed about how to have a healthy pregnancy and baby. The baby shower campaign will also incorporate the use of transit posters, radio, web, and print public service announcements. Informational materials will be included in a pregnancy assistance toolkit, and will be distributed to health providers and mothers.

“A healthy pregnancy and healthy baby start long before a woman becomes pregnant, which is why it is so important that she avoid pregnancy until her body is ready. This includes a healthy body weight, a nutritious diet, taking folic acid supplements and getting chronic conditions under control,” says Mark Hathaway, MD, director of Community Outreach for Women's and Infants' Services at Washington Hospital Center and medical director of OB/GYN Services for Unity Health Care. “Once becoming pregnant, she needs to get prenatal care early and often. There is a wealth of resources for prenatal care available in the District of Columbia, regardless of ability to pay. I am pleased to be a part of Mayor Fenty’s efforts to reduce infant mortality in the District and give every baby a healthy start.” Dr. Hathaway serves on the Mayor’s task force to reduce infant mortality.

All press interested in attending the baby shower must be cleared in for parking and escorted by a member of Washington Hospital Center’s Media Relations team. Please contact So Young Pak at (202) 877-2748 or pager (202) 801-0901, or Lynn Hopkins Cantwell, (202) 877-7594 or (301) 367-8704 to make arrangements prior to arrival.