WASHINGTON— To honor and support Veterans welcoming new children into their families in 2018, 60 U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Centers (VAMC) around the country will host baby showers between May 5-16, the weeks surrounding Mother’s Day, in partnership with theElizabeth Dole Foundation.
“The Nationwide Baby Shower will ensure Veterans have what they need to focus on the joy of growing their families in those stressful first weeks,” said acting VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “With this effort, our goal is to celebrate Veteran parents — especially moms — while also increasing awareness of VA’s comprehensive maternity care services and to encourage women Veterans to Choose VA to support their health and wellness goals.”
Women make up approximately 10 percent of the Veteran population in the United States, and nearly half of the nation’s 2 million women Veterans are of reproductive age.VA offers comprehensive primary care, prenatal and preconception (pre-pregnancy) care, infertility services, maternity care services and the first seven days of newborn care.
TheElizabeth Dole Foundation, a nonprofit organization that advocates for military caregivers, is expanding its existing relationship with VA by aiding in welcoming the newest caregivers to the Veteran community through local support and volunteer efforts at each baby shower location.Philips, theVeteran Canteen Serviceand other partners are also supporting this initiative, which will provide new Veteran parents with items to help new parents and babies.
Over 2,400 new Veteran parents and new Veteran parents-to-be will be recognized at the events. At least one VAMC in every Veterans Integrated Service Network is participating. All 60 sites can be found here:https://www.va.gov/womenvet/acwv/babyShower.asp.
For more information about VA’s benefits and services for women Veterans, as well as the Nationwide Baby Shower, visitwww.va.gov/womenvet.