Local mothers gather for informational 'baby shower'

Jonesboro resident Shashona Houston proudly proclaimed on Wednesday that the day marked the 35-week anniversary of the conception of her first child, her unborn daughter. The child, she said, is due to be born in August.

But, at the same time, the first-time mother said there is one thing that is constantly on her mind — the child's health, even though she did not indicate any health concerns to be worried about.

"It's very important to me," Houston said. "That's my No. 1 thing that I think about on a daily basis. I want to make sure there are no complications."

Houston was among the more than 80 people, including several children and expectant mothers, who attended a "Community BaShower," hosted health plan provider company, Amerigroup Community Care, at the Clayton County Library System's headquarters branch, on Wednesday.

The attendees spent an hour-and-a-half playing baby-related word games, and hearing presentations from different community groups whose services range from couples counseling, to health care.

"The purpose of the ‘Community BaShower' is to provide new mothers with information that they will need to know about health care," said Lorna Reed, a senior marketing representative from Amerigroup Community Care. She oversaw the bashower, and explained it was also a marketing tool that Amerigroup uses.

"We want to educate new mothers on Medicaid benefits that are available to them, such as pre-natal care and post-partum care, and we [also] want to educate them on Medicaid benefits for their families, so they don't go under-utilized," Reed added.

Some of the types of health care plans available to low-income, expectant and new mothers, Reed said, include Amerigroup, pregnancy Medicaid (which lasts up until two months after the child is born), newborn Medicaid (which expires on the child's first birthday), and Peach Care for Kids.

Riverdale resident Shontavious Ahmad, who is seven months pregnant with a bagirl, said she enjoyed the bashower, and found it educational. She attended the event with her daughter, Eriana Houston, 4.

"With her [Eriana Houston], I used Amerigroup as well, but I didn't know about many of the additional benefits that they offered until now," the mother said.