About 60 pregnant women and their guests will learn about topics from prenatal health to being a parent at "Maryland's Largest Baby Shower in Taneytown."
The shower is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. Saturday at Taneytown Activities Building on Memorial Drive. It is sponsored by several county agencies, includes lunch and is free to pregnant women.
Last week, chairwoman Chris Spicer, a county health department staff member, had 37 pregnant women and 21 guests registered.
In fact, this may not be the largest baby shower in Maryland, but it is the largest of its kind in Taneytown, Ms. Spicer said. The health department and other local agencies have sponsored a countywide shower in Westminster for six years to teach women about pregnancy, childbirth and child care.
"We get a huge response from that one, 250 people, so we decided to try to have a smaller program," Ms. Spicer said.
The shower in Taneytown is financed with an $1,800 state grant. If money is available, the organizers would like to continue the annual countywide shower and add one each year in one of the county's other towns.
Dr. Joel Rubenstein, a pediatrician who practices in Taneytown, Eldersburg and Westminster, will be one of the featured speakers.
He plans to describe parts of the delivery room procedure that can be alarming to new mothers, particularly first-time mothers. For example, Dr. Rubenstein said he will explain APGAR tests, a system for scoring the baby's condition at intervals after birth.
"If there's a problem, we tell them. But there are a lot of little things we do that are routine that they may not know about," Dr. Rubenstein said.
He planned to talk about prematurity, how a nursing mother can be sure the baby is getting enough fluid and how to tell a problem from an emergency.
Dr. Rubenstein finished his residency in June and began working in Carroll County full time early in August. His wife, Dr. Theresa Buck, has a fellowship at University of Maryland Medical Center in pulmonary and intensive care.
Sherry Osborne, prenatal educator at the county health department, will be the other featured speaker.
Ms. Spicer said shower organizers chose Taneytown for the first program outside Westminster because the countywide shower usually draws a large contingent from Taneytown.
The 58 people registered included five men. Ms. Spicer said fathers are welcome in the program, and the countywide shower usually draws about 20.
"Some [women] bring their best friend, some bring the future grandparents and some bring the father," she said.
Sponsors include Carroll County General Hospital, Carroll County Public Library, Human Services Programs of Carroll County Inc. and Carroll County Family Center.