By Nick Steddum
Stuttgart High School Career Practicum Student
The American Red Cross Stuttgart Station is set to host its annual Baby Expo March 9 at the Panzer Firehouse, near the Panzer Housing Area, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The event is tailored for prospective, expecting, and new parents, offering them an opportunity to learn about the ins-and-outs of the early parenthood experience – particularly in an overseas environment.
“It’s kind of a trade show, a one-stop shop,” said Erin Owsley, a program specialist with the Red Cross. “We have people from the garrison and off-base, which gives people a good insight to what they can expect when giving birth here in Germany.”
The expo will feature a diverse array of presentations and resources from both military and local national organizations. This includes insights from Böblingen Hospital’s Obstetrics team about hospital deliveries and functions of the neonatology clinic, as well as presentations on other topics and practical demonstrations such as infant CPR. Red Cross volunteers will lead these sessions, focusing on key skills like maintaining composure in stressful situations.
In addition to topics like medical and emergency preparedness, the expo will cover other aspects of family life. This includes services like translation assistance, insurance consultants, and even the Vet Clinic, who will “show how people can introduce their babies to their furry friends,” Owsley said.
Food and drinks will be provided throughout the event, and a raffle featuring various prizes will help offer attendees the chance to go home with something more tangible than knowledge.
“Last year, everyone walked away with something; nobody left empty-handed,” said Whitney Benedictus of the Red Cross.
Overall, “it’s a really easy way to get all the information you need and also meet other families who are expecting,” she added.
The expo is open, free of charge, to the entire military community and does not require pre-registration. For more information, visit the American Red Cross Stuttgart Station’s Facebook page or contact them at email@example.com.
This story is found in the First Quarter 2024 Edition of the Stuttgart Citizen magazine.