Community baby shower promotes safe sleep, hopes to reduce infant mortality

Friendly Inn is hosting a free community baby shower that will focus on promoting safe sleep practices and offering support to pregnant women who want to quit smoking. The goal of the event is reducing Cleveland’s high infant mortality rates.

When you’re pregnant, everything you put in your body can affect your baby. If you smoke, your baby is exposed to chemicals such as nicotine and carbon monoxide. If you quit smoking before you become pregnant (or during the first 3 months of your pregnancy), your risk of having a baby with low birth weight is the same as that of a woman who does not smoke. Women who quit later in their pregnancy still reduce the risk of problems for their babies.

It’s also important to not go back to smoking after the baby is born and to ask others not to smoke in your home. This will reduce your baby’s risk of having breathing problems. Quitting smoking can be hard, but there are resources available to help.

Moms Quit for Two is a smoking cessation program for pregnant moms. The goal of the program is to reduce the burden of tobacco on society and decrease the number of women who smoke during and after pregnancy. The leading causes of infant death in Ohio are prematurity and preterm births, sleep-related deaths and birth defects, all which can increase when a pregnant woman smokes.

Baby_pinkblanketAvailable at the Friendly Inn Settlement, the program enrolls pregnant moms who smoke. A community health worker works with expectant moms to complete 4 prenatal and 12 postpartum smoking sessions. At each visit, the mom will receive quit support education and carbon monoxide testing. If mom stays smoke free after the baby is born, she will receive a monthly $25 diaper voucher for up to twelve months.

Moms Quit for Two is hosting its second annual Community Baby Shower from 1 – 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 8 at Friendly Inn Settlement located at 2386 Unwin Road, Cleveland, Ohio. All expectant mothers are invited to attend. This year’s baby shower will focus on safe sleep.

“The purpose of the event is to spread awareness and educate pregnant women in our county with the tools and resources needed to have a successful birth outcome and ensure we will celebrate their child’s first birthday,” said Michelle Boclear, supervisor, Moms Quit for Two. “Currently, our county is ranks 6th in Infant Mortality. We have one of the highest rates of death for African-American mothers in our country.”

The event will include food, games, resources, prizes and educational information. Moms must be pregnant to attend. R.S.V.P. for the event by calling 216.431.7656.

Groups like Motherhood Sisterhood 216 and Our Babies Count are other outlets for moms or moms-to-be to get information and connect to other moms. For tips on how to make a plan to quit smoking click here.