SALT LAKE CITY — For many soon-to-be parents, the experience of pregnancy and new parenthood can be overwhelming.
Utah has the highest fertility rate in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And many new mothers in Utah experience symptoms of postpartum depression — at a higher rate than average, according to the Utah Women and Leadership Project.
To ease this journey, expectant and new mothers and fathers are invited to an expo designed to help prepare them for the countless decisions that go along with pregnancy and new parenthood.
“We believe that to prevent birth trauma, mothers need access to providers and information that will help them feel informed, and help them make choices to guide the process," said Ruthie Higbee, one of the event's organizers.
For $5 per person in advance or $10 at the door, the expo will offer parents an opportunity to meet more than 120 of the "best of the best" birth-related professionals who will discuss topics such as mental health, prenatal care, childbirth classes, hormonal changes, natural healing, family centered C-sections, postpartum support and more, organizers said.
Genesis Birth Co. will also hold a diaper drive for families in need during the expo. If attendees donate a new bag of diapers, they will get into the event for free.
“The expo is put together as a resource for women in our community to make sure they understand what’s available to them,” event organizer Deanna Gordon said.
Attendees can also watch films that show birth "as it is" in a "positive and empowering way," go to classes and workshops, and they have a chance to take home donated prizes valued at $20,000, according to event organizers.
Food trucks and vendors will also be present.
In addition to providing women with resources and support, the event is meant to help women who have experienced birth trauma heal and "help women in underserved demographics find local options and resources," according to organizers.Comment on this story
“Women who struggle with postpartum (depression) are more common than the culture would like to admit. We believe that many struggles new moms face can be alleviated through support and education, and a trauma-free birth,” Higbee said.
"Birth doesn’t always need to be a medical event. It’s a life event that should be celebrated and revered, and a mother needs support before, during and after."