Twice a year Green Bay Doulas brings 50-70 of their best resources under one roof for an amazing event called the Belly To Baby Expo. I sat down with Emily Jacobson the creator of the expo for some Q & A.
Q: What is the Belly to Baby Expo?
A: It’s a grassroots effort to bring local businesses and community resources to expecting mothers and their growing families in the Green Bay Area. It’s run by volunteers and the host, Green Bay Doulas.
Q: When was it started?
A: In September of 2012 in the Streu’s Pharmacy parking lot, we had 17 vendors and about 25 people attended. Now we see upwards of 400-500 families pass through the doors each expo. Former locations included The Art Garage, Rasmussen College, St Mary’s Roller Rink, The Marq- Lineville Rd and the fall expo will be at The Meadows Conference Center.
Q: Why was it started?
A: I lived in Madison for 10 years and did my initial doula training there. When I moved back to Green Bay in the summer of 2012, I realized unlike Madison, no one knew what a doula was or let alone the resources that are available to them outside of the hospitals. If newly engaged couples had wedding expos, why didn’t they have baby expos? I’m not one to sit back and hope someone would create such a thing, I went ahead and did it.
Q: Who should attend?
A: Everyone should attend. Those thinking about growing families find they learn ahead of the curve about local resources including those looking into adoption or medical professionals. Those who are currently expecting find cute crafts, baby gear, and an array of professionals who can support them during their pregnancy. Those with children already find great resources from breastfeeding support to crafters and perinatal health professionals and a chance to meet other mothers, exchange stories perhaps even make a new friend or two.
Q: What should we expect?
A: Expect to have fun, and meet new people, all while supporting local businesses! We have amazing raffle prizes from local and national companies. New this year we will be hosting a free prenatal Yoga class before the expo. We also have added a lactation and quiet lounge for those mothers who need a break or to feed their child with less distraction.
Q: What is so special about the Belly to Baby Expo?
A: Money raised by the vendor fees provides fee assistance to families in the Green Bay Area for bereavement and other support services through Green Bay Doulas, Green Bay’s premier doula agency. It’s another way beyond our annual diaper drive – No Child Wet Behind we can give back to our community.
We hope you will join us for the 11th Belly to Baby Expo and if you can’t make this one, you are in luck, the next one will be March 2018. We hope to see you there!