Queens Baby Shower and Maternity Fair Event Take Care of Their Community


Childcare presentation for expecting mothers and families. Credit: Olivia Graffeo

By Olivia Graffeo | olivia@queensledger.com

Long Island Jewish Forest Hills Hospital held its 2nd annual Community Baby Shower and Maternity Fair on June 21st. Held at Commonpoint Queens at 67-09 108th St in Forest Hills, the event was attended by expecting mothers and family as a way to receive free childcare education and an opportunity to come together as a community.

Lorraine Chambers, Executive Director of LIJFH, was in attendance to speak with the guests as well as help provide resources to those who need them.

“This is an amazing time in their lives and the lives of their families, but it could also be a very stressful and challenging time,” Chambers said. ”The community coming together to find out, again, what are the resources that these moms need? And let’s help them with that. Educational resources, in terms of what the moms need for their birth, how to be safe, breastfeeding, that type of information, areas that they can go to, support, access to insurance, different things.”

In addition to providing families with education and resources, the event doubled as a community baby shower for those expecting. The gymnasium where the event took place was decorated with balloons and baby items one would expect to see at any baby shower. Many of the women present had never been thrown a baby shower, so the community got to have one as a group. Every expectant mother would not only leave with access to resources but also gifts that had been generously donated. Bigger ticket items like strollers and highchairs were also given out to raffle winners at the event.

Also in attendance was medical staff from LIJFH and doctors specializing in obstetrics and pediatrics. One of these doctors donating their time was Dr. Orlando Santandreu, a veteran OBGYN of many decades. Santandreu’s work is not solely focused on medical care; he also devotes a great deal of his time to widening access for women to receive comprehensive care. Santandreu often gives his time for free lectures and educational events that help disadvantaged and at-risk women in his community.

Though it is only the second year for this Community Baby Shower and Maternity Fair, it has grown significantly since its inception.

Stancy Saji, Program Manager at LIJFH, noted that last year the event took place in a small cafeteria within the hospital, and can now fit a large gymnasium. The team at LIJFH and their vendors are hopeful to see the event keep growing in the coming years to help even more mothers and their families.

“With this event, we hope that the moms leave with something that benefits them from this journey. It’s not an easy journey to be a parent,” Saji said.  “Especially in New York, especially in Queens, so we’re hoping that they get all the free resources that we have to offer, and they get education and clinical support. And hopefully, they learn about what’s here in their neighborhood and how Northwell can support them in their journey.”


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