'Moms and dads aren't alone': SW VA Mom Expo helps parents through their journey

Event teaches parents how to stay mentally and physically healthy

By Taj Simmons - Reporter

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. - The South Roanoke County Library hosted a meeting of the moms Saturday.

The first Southwest Virginia Mom Expo showcased resources and techniques meant to help parents and soon-to-be parents with child rearing and personal health.

Event organizer Abby Stecketee helped develop the idea for an expo after mothers in her workout class came to her with questions about parenting.

"Moms and dads aren't alone," Stecketee said. "Everyone goes through challenges and struggles as a parent, and in our community we have people who are here to help with that."

Presenters at the expo educated attendees about exercise, car seat installation, prenatal care and postpartum depression. However, Stecketee says the most valuable conversations were the ones mothers had among themselves.

"It takes some courage to come out and start talking about issues that sometimes are difficult or sensitive," Stecketee said. "I'm really grateful for this."

Among the parents who came was Christina Melber, who recently moved to Virginia with her 11-month-old son, Camden. She says she hoped to learn about how other moms have handled parenthood at the expo.

"Being a new mom and being newer in town, as well, it's hard to find other moms, other than running into them at the grocery store," Melber said. "It's nice being able to come here and find these connections with different people in our community. We already have something in common: They're moms, and that's great."

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