The DNFW participated in the WMEE Baby Fair on February 10th at the Grand Wayne Center!
pictured: Ryanne, Kat, Jackson, Connie and Jordan
While it wasn't the first time doulas were represented at the WMEE Baby Fair, it was the first year that the Doula Network of Fort Wayne appeared. In previous years birth doula Connie Gallagher, and post partum doula Ryanne Kees, bravely rented a booth together to spread the evidence-based doula advantage. As part of the founding members of the DNFW, Connie and Ryanne turned their rights to the table over to DNFW and allowed for more community outreach lobbying instead of individual doula advertising. So first and foremost: A BIG thanks to Connie and Ryanne for being so willing to work for birthing families and putting their personal businesses on the back-burner!
Baby Fair 2007 was about illustrating the support and comfort measures that doulas can provide to birthing and new families. We displayed some of the things a birth doula may have in her bag (aromatherapy, rice bag for hot or cold, soothing lotions and massage tools), and also displayed various "recommended reading" books. While the table was laiden with a few hundered DNFW business cards to promote the website we also had flyers for free seminars DNFW will be holding over the next three months and a 'sign up' to win $100.00 off doula services.
Kat Hickey, birth doula, cleverly put us next to La Leche League and we found our behind-the-curtain-neighbors to be Agape Birth Services which offers midwifery careproviders to those interested in homebirth. Needless to say, we had lots of fabulous vendors and participants to talk with at the fair. As you can see in some of the photos we had two birth balls to demonstrate to passersby but found that most wanted to chat while we bounced! Of course children were immediately drawn to the large, brightly colored balls for some quality 'play-time.'
After set up on Friday and arriving early on Saturday to make sure all the last minute things were in place -- the day still flew by! Before we knew it all the children had their various clown balloons in hand, face paint was rubbing off and parents were ready for nap-time. The DNFW is already looking forward to Baby Fair 2008! This year's fair was a great springboard into brainstorming about how to continue to get out into Fort Wayne's birth community and talk about birth choices (whether medicated, unmedicated, VBAC, or c-section) and essential birth and postpartum doula support.