This fall marks the first time the DC Birth & Babies Fair is venturing out of the District. Organized by Eat-Sleep-Love Maternity & Parenting Center, the Birth & Babies Fair of Montgomery County will take place Sunday, October 9 at the Silver Spring Civic Building.
We asked fair organizers to share more about the ideas behind the event and what to expect October 9.
Jessica of Mindful Healthy Life: What are the goals of the Birth & Babies Fair? What do you hope to accomplish?
Eat-Sleep-Love: The goal of Birth & Babies Fair of Montgomery County is to provide new parents, parents-to-be, and those planning to begin or expand their family with the education and resources to make pregnancy, birth and early parenting a smoother, and easier process, and help them appreciate and enjoy this incredibly meaningful journey.
Specifically, our participants will learn from local infant and child experts about sleeping, breastfeeding, behavior, babywearing, health and safety. They will discover maternity and birthing options and connect with local healthcare professionals, including doulas, midwives, obstetricians and therapists. Local thought leaders will provide information about balancing motherhood and work/home life, connecting with other new parents via moms groups and support groups, and self-care while taking care of the new baby and family.
Attendees can “visit” local family-focused businesses onsite, and connect with other new parents and parents-to-be while taking part in a lively infant/toddler music or dance class and informative seminars. There will also be products available on-site for purchase, a babywearing lounge to try on and learn about baby carriers, and educational sessions.
Jessica: This is the first time you’ve done the event in Montgomery County, not just in DC. What made you want to expand? How will this event be different?
Eat-Sleep-Love: Eat-Sleep-Love Maternity & Parenting Center is based in Bethesda, Maryland and we are thrilled to expand the Fair to our own stomping grounds! Building on feedback from the Birth & Babies Fair, DC, we developed a day of educating, empowering and connecting, geared specifically for parents and parents-to-be in Montgomery County.
Why Montgomery County? There are many events held in Montgomery County that offer residents information about products. However, the focus of Birth & Babies Fair is to provide education and applicable information about all stages of the prenatal and postnatal process.
People in Montgomery County are fortunate to have so many local healthcare service provider options, networks of support, and family-focused businesses, but seeking out these resources and digesting all of this new information is absolutely overwhelming!
At the Birth & Babies Fair, everything – from healthcare providers to thought leaders to information about local networks and support groups to local family-focused vendors – is in ONE place. And, it’s offered in an enjoyable, digestible, organized manner. Choose the interactive workshops you wish to attend, visit vendors and services you’d like to learn more about, and connect with other local parents and parents-to-be.
What makes this Fair different than our fair in DC? For one, our thought leaders, service providers and family-focused vendors operate locally in Montgomery County. If you live in Montgomery County, you will have access to midwives, doulas, therapists, and businesses who are located right here. In light of the proximity to DC, some of our featured providers have crossover between the District and Montgomery County.
Jessica: How many workshops will there be and on what topics? How many sessions can any one participant attend? What are some highlights of the program?
Eat-Sleep-Love: There are twelve interactive sessions/workshops, divided into three educational tracks, and three parent/child sample classes available.
- Pregnancy & Childbirth
- wellness pregnancy, midwifery in the hospital setting, postpartum strength and homebirth
- Infancy & Toddlers
- basics of sleep, developmental play, babywearing/wrapping, and breastfeeding
- Family Life & Care
- self care, postpartum depression, therapy, and finding the right nanny/babysitters
- Children’s Classes
- parents of infants and toddlers have an opportunity to participate in a Zumbini or Song Circle class
Jessica: Describe the venue for us.
Eat-Sleep-Love: The Birth & Babies Fair of Montgomery County will be held at the Silver Spring Civic Building. This beautiful space will host classes, workshops and an Exhibit Hall. All of the vendors are concentrated in a large Exhibit Hall on the main entrance level. The educational sessions will be in spacious rooms on the upper and main floors of the building.
We will have an incredible Babywearing Lounge with an opportunity to learn about and try out baby carriers. The Fair will also feature a cozy lactation room, offering parents a comfortable and private location to feed their infants and toddlers, and a Play Area for children to burn some energy.
The Silver Spring Civic Building is conveniently located six blocks from the Silver Spring Metro Station at 1 Veterans Place. This is just inside the Beltway, easy to get to from Montgomery County, Howard County, Prince Georges County, Northern Virginia and DC. There are several public parking lots surrounding the Civic Center, and they are free on Sundays. There are several restaurants adjacent to the Silver Spring Civic Building, just steps from the Fair.
Jessica: What else would you like participants to know about the event?
Eat-Sleep-Love: The first 250 attendees will receive a reusable goody bag. We hope that you will come and stay all day long. There are many opportunities to learn and interact. Bring your children – you will be able to spend time in our Lactation Lounge to nurse, or engage in a few classes with your children. If you get hungry, food and snacks are just steps away. We have over 40 exhibitors this year. Click here for a complete list of exhibitors.
Jessica: What does it cost to attend, and when does registration close?
Eat-Sleep-Love: Regular price is $25 for one adult and $40 for a family ticket (two adults). Purchase tickets online in advance using code MHLFAIR for a 20% discount. Children are FREE to attend! Register online at: http://www.eat-sleep-love.com/registration/. Tickets may also be purchased at the door.
Jessica Claire Haney is the founder, publisher and editor of Mindful Healthy Life. She is a writer, editor, emerging novelist, and the founder of the Arlington/Alexandria chapter of Holistic Moms Network. Her personal blog is Crunchy-Chewy Mama and her writer’s site is JessicaClaireHaney.com. See the Contributors page and Jessica’s Mindful Healthy Life Q&A for more on Jessica.