The Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System’s Women Veterans Program hosted a series of drive-thru baby showers at community-based outpatient clinics for currently pregnant women Veterans or those who have delivered in the past year.

Typical baby shower items – including diapers and baby wipes – were given during each two-hour maternity event. The events were designed to provide expecting and new mother women Veterans needed items. They also provided information on the variety of services available through the GCVHCS Women Veterans Program.

Diapers and baby wipes were given to Veterans attending the drive-thru baby shower.

“These events will show our maternity Veterans that they are not alone during this difficult and challenging time,” said Dr. Donna Maxwell, the Women Veterans Program manager. “In addition to providing much needed baby supplies, we’ll also be distributing valuable information concerning resources available from VA and within the community to assist mothers with additional needs during pregnancy and after delivery.”

The drive-thru event was designed to minimize contact and reinforce CDC recommended guidelines and VA policies. It comes as communities still grapple with the ongoing global health crisis. Maxwell added that this can significantly impact expecting Veterans or those who have recently given birth.

“Many women Veterans suffer from depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, and pregnancy and delivery can intensify these conditions,” she said. “Intimate Partner Violence is also known to increase during pregnancy and during the postpartum period. The ongoing global health crisis and associated quarantine can increase feelings of fear, isolation and depression.”

The baby showers were held at the Mobile CBOC in Mobile, Alabama; the Eglin CBOC near Eglin Air Force Base; the Panama City Beach CBOC in Panama City Beach, Florida; the Joint Ambulatory Care Center in Pensacola, Florida; and at the Biloxi VA Medical Center in Biloxi.

The Biloxi VA Medical Center and the Mobile, Pensacola, Eglin and Panama City Beach VA Clinics are all part of the Gulf Coast Veterans Healthcare System, which is headquartered in Biloxi, Mississippi, and provides a variety of medical outpatient services to more than 77,000 Veterans.

By Vernon Stewart is chief of Community and Public Affairs for the Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System

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Published on Jul. 18, 2021

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  1. Sherry M Miller July 20, 2021 at 9:29 am

    This is great for the women in the military, now. I had my first baby while on active duty, in 1976. I was a thorn in my commanders side. I wasn’t married and they didn’t know what to do with me. I wore civilian maternity clothes since there were no uniforms back then. But there was not much emotional support. I was on 6 weeks maternity leave before and after birth, but no one in command ever called or came to see me to see how I was doing, it was radio silence. Not even to visit me in the hospital. Nope, nada.

  2. Terry Arnold July 18, 2021 at 6:02 pm

    Moderation hell! Confirm or deny!

  3. Terry Arnold July 18, 2021 at 5:59 pm

    I suppose now pregnancy is a medical issue caused by military service.

  4. Sam Harris Reynolds July 18, 2021 at 4:38 pm

    Happy to hear resources are now available to pregnant veterans. I left the military due to a high risk pregnancy 45 years ago. If resources were available, I was not aware of them.

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