YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The city of Youngstown invited all expecting parents to a community baby shower Saturday at Arlington Heights to help ease them into parenthood.

Those putting on the baby shower wanted to increase Ohio’s national ranking in infant health, as Ohio is currently ranked 37th.

Saturday marked the third year of the event, which is sponsored by UnitedHealthcare and the Youngstown Office on Minority Health.  This one had more vendors and moms than ever.

From 11 a.m.-3 p.m., expecting mothers, fathers and grandparents learned valuable health information on how to care for a new-born baby.

Wendy Ford enjoyed the event with her two-month-old Elijah.

“Getting to know different things in the community that I can go to and resources and whatnot,” Ford said. “It helps out a lot.”

Screenings and information about local resources were available, as representatives from the Boardman WIC clinicMercy Health YoungstownM|Y (Mahoning Youngstown) Baby’s 1st Coalition, Cribs for Kids and the Mahoning County Pathways HUB were present.

They are all trying to improve the infant mortality rate, which is high in Mahoning County — especially for babies of color.

“The state of Ohio went down, but ours in Mahoning County did go up,” said Erin Bishop, Youngstown Health Commissioner. “That shows you that there’s still more people that we need to reach. There’s people that we’re not reaching. So that’s why I feel that this event is more important than ever.”

Just like any traditional baby shower, there were games to win gift cards and baby supplies. Healthy snacks and refreshments were also provided.

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