From:                              Cindy Brown []

Sent:                               Friday, May 14, 2010 10:28 AM


Subject:                          Mom's Shower press release


Fayette County Community Action Agency, Inc.

N E W S   R E L E A S E

(724) 437-6050



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:        Contact: Cindy Ekas-Brown

May 10, 2010                                                  PR/Outreach Specialist                                                                                             (724) 437-6050, extension 4276


          FCCAA presents workshops at Fayette County Mom’s Shower, Dad’s Den


Fayette County Community Action Agency (FCCAA) Inc. employees offered mothers and fathers of children born or to be born this year tips on raising a baby on a budget at the 13th annual Fayette County Mom’s Shower and third annual Dad’s Den.


FCCAA employees presented several workshops and also talked to 53 moms and eight dads about the benefits of breastfeeding at the event, which was held recently at Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus.


Kristen Radovich and Mary Jordan of the agency’s housing program and Teresa Furnier of FCCAA’s planning department talked about the financial issues of having a new baby.


Maria Cavanagh and Sheena Abraham of the agency’s Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program stressed the importance of breastfeeding.


“Children may be priceless, but raising them certainly isn’t,” Radovich said.


A recent survey by the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated that the cost of raising a child from birth to age 17 is estimated at more than $200,000 for a middle-income family, according to Radovich.


 “But you don’t have to be a millionaire to raise a family,” Radovich said. “You just have to create a budget and stick with it.”


Jordan said daycare costs run about $1,200 a month, depending on where parents live.


“So sometimes it makes sense for one parent not to work because when you compare that number versus the after-tax salary of one parent, two kids equal about $30,000 in annual salary,” Jordan said.


With insurance co-pays of $25, the annual cost of visits to the pediatrician’s office is about $250, Radovich said.


“Not only is parenting an expensive endeavor, it can be a dirty job, too,” Radovich said. “By the time a child is potty-trained, he or she can go through thousands of diapers. The cost of diapers amounts to $1,500 to $2,000 in total by the time your baby is out of them.”


Jordan said food costs are the most expensive, topping out at more than $100 a week.

“Babies are very expensive,” Furnier said. “The best thing to do before you buy diapers is to comparison shop. You can get coupons for diapers on various web sites. Most diapers are about the same as long as they aren’t leaking all over the place.”


Furnier also suggested shopping for baby clothing, shoes and other baby items at Goodwill and the Salvation Army.


“You can get nice slightly used items for just a few dollars,” Furnier said. “Babies go through a lot of outfits. Babies grow really fast, so sometimes they outgrow outfits before they have even worn them.

Babies aren’t going to remember the cribs they slept in or the clothes they wore.”


Cavanagh said breastfeeding is recommended by many agencies, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Department of Health and Human Services.


“Mom’s milk is easy to digest,” Cavanagh said. “It soothes the baby’s stomach. Nursing spares you the stress of trying to find a formula that won’t upset your baby.”


Abraham said mom’s milk is especially good for developing your baby’s brain and helping his IQ reach full potential.


“Babies have very small stomachs, and you want to be very careful not to overfeed them because they can get really sick,” Abraham said.


Babies who nurse for a long time stay healthier, according to Cavanagh.


“You save money on doctor’s bills. And you save more money by not buying formula,” Cavanagh said. “The very first time your baby nurses, she begins to get the protective ingredients your milk provides.”


The hormones produced while nursing help to make a strong emotional bond with the baby, Cavanagh said.


FCCAA employees also discussed other programs offered by the agency, including the Family Savings Account program that provides $2,000 in government funding for people meeting income guidelines; rental and mortgage assistance programs; the Food Bank; and applications for the Food Stamp program through the Department of Public Welfare.


Furnier suggested that those who attended the event contact Fayette County Community Action Agency Inc. to find out what help is available to them. To schedule an intake appointment, call 724-437-6050, extension 3232.