Prospective mothers-to-be receive gifts at the transit baby shower in Phoenix, VA

The special experience for mothers is made possible by the VA Women Veterans Program.

PHOENIX – The Phoenix VA hosted a special drive-through baby shower today to honor and support veterans who are adding new babies to their families.

The baby shower provided the resources these veterans needed most as they embarked on their parenting journey.

40 new veteran mothers are supported

“He’s six weeks old,” said Suzanne Tuanaki, one of about 40 new mothers receiving special gifts at Saturday’s drive-through baby shower in Phoenix, VA.

“It’s a big help,” she said. “I thought we weren’t doing it with COVID this year, so they did it for my daughter and now for him.”

Changes due to a COVID-19 pandemic

The monthly baby shower has been going on for several years, but this year volunteers suggested switching it to a quarterly transit to keep everyone safe during the pandemic.

“They put these supplies in their garage and put together the baby baskets based on the gender of the expected baby’s birth. Some of them are gender neutral because parents don’t want to know, ”said Kristen Nordquist, program manager for female veterans.

For each bundle of joy, important supplies were collected

Every mother-to-be receives $ 300 in vital newborn babies for her new bundle of joy.

“Baby bottles, we obviously have diapers,” she said. “Bath accessories, blankets, toys, nail clippers, the hygiene kit for newborns … the mothers also receive a pampering package that is filled with accessories to make them feel special.”

Volunteers want to make a difference for expectant mothers

The special experience for mothers like Suzanne is made possible by the VA’s Women Veterans Program.

“The VA has helped so much throughout maternity care,” Tuanaki said. “The homemade blankets are always a nice little touch.”

The Maternity and Baby Program was launched 12 years ago by a VA veteran who wanted to make a difference for maternity patients.

“It’s very special and I’m grateful for the VA,” she said.

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