Beyond the Bump, a convention designed to prepare new and soon-to-be moms for all aspects of having a baby, will host its fourth annual Rochester event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 16 at the DoubleTree Rochester, 1111 Jefferson Road.
The convention, which recently announced a four-city program expansion, will bring together local organizations that cater to pregnant women, new mothers and their babies. As a special guest, best-selling pregnancy and parenting author Ann Douglas will travel to the area to lead three seminars and participate in a book signing.
Attendees can expect 12 expert-led seminars that focus on topics related to pregnancy, labor and delivery, newborns and infants and the transition to motherhood, plus seven demonstrations that will teach various skills such as cloth diapering or comforting labor positions that can easily be put into practice in the home. The event also will feature a pediatrician meet and greet, babywearing test drive area, baby and bump photos and shopping for handmade products in a mom and baby market.
To further support area moms and babies in need, Beyond the Bump will team up with two local nonprofit organizations: The Crisis Nursery, a program of the Center for Youth, as well as ROC City Bottoms. One hundred percent of raffle ticket sales from nearly 40 items will be donated to the Crisis Nursery, a place where families can turn when they require temporary but critical assistance and care for their children ages newborn to 14 during family emergencies. Attendees also can participate in a diaper drive to support ROC City Bottoms, a group that provides diapers and supplies for those in need. Donations that will be collected on event day include disposable and cloth diapers, wipes, creams and other diapering materials.
Co-founded by event organizer Monica Infante, of Rochester, Beyond the Bump was born out of discussions at a new and first-time moms’ group after the birth of her first child in 2012. She discovered a gap in knowledge surrounding the local resources available to pregnant women and new mothers during pregnancy, childbirth and through the baby’s first year of life, and she set out on a mission to help bridge the gap. With support from pediatricians, members of the birthing community, nonprofits and area businesses, Beyond the Bump, the event launched in 2013 in Rochester.
After three consecutive years of Rochester events, online growth and requests for the event to be brought to new cities, Beyond the Bump expanded into Buffalo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in 2016. While the focus may be about moms and babies, Infante notes that community is at the foundation of it all.
“Each of the new cities selected this year has a strong network of local resources that cater to growing families, as well as a culture that values connections and support,” she said. “It’s going to be a very exciting season.”
Douglas, famous for “The Mother of All” book series — “Mother of All Pregnancy Books,” “The Mother of All Baby Books,” “The Mother of All Toddler Books” and ”The Mother of All Parenting Books” — presented at Beyond the Bump’s inaugural event, and Douglas says she’s thrilled to return to Rochester as the event reaches out to new parents and parents-to-be.
“I love the philosophy that fuels the show: educating, supporting and empowering parents. It’s also been my life’s work as a parent author, helping parents to understand that they can make a difference in the lives of their children, and in the lives of other children in their communities,” Douglas said. “If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to support that child’s parent, and Beyond the Bump is that village.”
Participants will be able to download an event app through beyond-the-bump.com to plan a schedule in advance based on seminars, demonstrations and activities of most interest. Both seminars and demonstrations will be ongoing throughout the event.
Tickets are $25 for individuals, $40 for pairs and $15 per person for groups of six or more and
attendees must register online. All attendees will receive a gift bag with products for mom and baby from well-known manufacturers, along with information and special offers from local organizations.
For more information, call 585-244-2040, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit beyond-the-bump.com/rochester.