Midwives are the guests of honor at this year’s Birth and Baby Fair being held Saturday at Mission Plaza in San Luis Obispo.
Now in its 16th year, the fair puts current and future parents in touch with a variety of maternity-related resources, including breastfeeding experts, childbirth educators, hospital birth centers and nonprofit organizations.
Moms and dads can get a car seat safety check, enter a silent auction, and shop for baby clothes and other goods. There are also plenty of kid-friendly activities, including face painting, storytelling and a bounce house.
About 2,000 people are expected to attend the day-long event.
“It’s a pretty good mix” between pregnant individuals and couples and families with kids, said Jennifer Stover, president of the Birth and Baby Resource Network.
This year’s fair coincides with the International Day of the Midwife, celebrating the sisterhood between mothers and the women who help them in childbirth.
Organizers will honor the midwives who have served county families for more than 40 years with a special ceremony at 10:30 a.m.
Families are invited to create thank-you cards for midwives, share their midwife stories on video, pose for photos with their midwives, or add their children’s names to a community art installation. Each leaf on the midwifery tree represents a local baby who was born in the hands of a midwife, Stover said.
“Women have been helping other women down through the ages,” Stover said, adding that about 20 county midwives are expected to attend.
“Our modern way of thinking is ‘Why would you choose a midwife? They’re not as skilled as doctors,’ ” Stover said. “The reality is (obstetricians) are not necessarily as skilled (as midwives) with helping women with normal, healthy births.”
According to Stover, childbirth works best when medical professionals and midwives are both involved.
“When you have those two components working together, it’s the best possible outcome for babies and moms,” she said.
The Birth and Baby Fair runs 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in Mission Plaza. For more information, call 546-3755 or visit www.bbrn.org.