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.