By STEVEN NALLEY
It may be Father’s Day on Sunday, but on Saturday, Emerson Family Center, Project TAB and Excel By 5 are offering a day of relaxation to the mothers who need it most.
Emerson Family Center will host “Pamper Me” Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon for new mothers of infants under 1 year old.
Barbara Brown, specialist in charge of “Pamper Me,” said the event will feature hand treatments, massages and healthy refreshments to give new mothers the energy and refreshment they need to endure long nights with newborn babies. The program is new for this year, she said, and it is funded by the Mississippi Department of Human Services and Kiwanis International. The event is free, and registration remains open until the event starts.
“We’re hoping it’s going to become an annual thing,” Brown said. “Starkville is striving for Excel By 5 certification, and one of the goals of Excel By 5 is supporting new mothers. One of the hardest times for new mothers is the first year after the baby is born. By helping the mothers, we’re helping the children.”
Nancy Ball, a registered nurse with the Starkville Clinic for Women, will also be present to answer health care questions, Brown said. There will also be a seminar on babies’ brain development, and La Leche League Leader Linda McGrath will provide lactation consulting.
The major academies are encouraging mothers to continue breastfeeding through their first year and maybe even their second year,” McGrath said. “We’re also going to have food demonstrations (featuring) healthy foods for families that are easy to fix.”
Brown said Neva McMinn, who teaches yoga at the Starkville Sportsplex, has also volunteered her time to help new mothers reduce stress. McGrath said a dance instructor will also be present to teach mothers some easy dance moves.
“The yoga instructor is going to come and suggest different techniques they can use to stay healthy and positive with parenting,” McGrath said. “The first year’s a big adjustment, so we want to let them know we’re here to support them and their change in life.”
Finally, “Pamper Me” will feature a screening of a DVD called “Help Me Make It Through the Night.” Brown said this DVD helps new mothers deal with babies who cry throughout the night without taking their stress out on those babies.
“New mothers are generally pretty sleep-deprived,” Brown said.
Brown said Emerson will have child care available for the new mothers’ babies, with a playpen in the center’s conference room. Emerson has checked all the caretakers’ backgrounds thoroughly, she said, so the mothers will be able to truly forget their worries.
“It should be a great place for mothers to have a chance to relax away from the demands of new motherhood and learn a few new things and support some other new mothers,” Brown said. “(We want the mothers to) realize they’re not alone and what they’re feeling is normal.”
Several people have volunteered time and resources for “Pamper Me,” Brown said, including hand treatment professionals, yoga instructors and businesses who have donated door prizes. McGrath said she is grateful for these volunteers, and she hopes the event will help promote Starkville’s local businesses.