PORT RICHEY — The free Healthy Start MomCare baby shower and health fair drew a large crowd of about 140 registrants to the Salvation Army community center Friday.
Those who registered in advance got a free pack n’ play bundle. Door prizes, raffles and refreshments also enticed some guests.
The main focus was education and information, according to John F. Tschirhart, executive director of the host Healthy Start Coalition of Pasco.
Three goals of the event were safe sleeping conditions for infants, no smoking during pregnancies and no substance abuse.
Speakers mentioned the potentially devastating impact on a fetus from a mother who smokes. A baby can suffer from low birth weight, greater risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, higher chances for diabetes and deformities such as cleft palate. Secondhand smoke can be equally destructive to a child’s health.
Healthy Start maternity care advisers Erika Rodriguez and Jessica Quintero helped mothers get the information they needed.