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Special Delivery: USO, What to Expect Foundation Host Okinawa Baby Showers

Monday, August 12, 2013

By Andrea Sok and Eric Brandner  

OKINAWA, Japan – The military has manuals for a lot of things, but pregnancy isn’t one of them.  

That’s why the USO and the What to Expect Foundation hosted three Special Delivery baby showers here last week. The events – held at USO Kadena on Kadena Air Base – each welcomed 100 new mothers and military moms-to-be for three hours of learning, food and fun.  

“Motherhood is the ultimate sisterhood,” said What to Expect Foundation President Heidi Murkoff, author of the best-selling “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” series of books.  

“For military moms-to-be, far away from their immediate family and friends, these baby showers were more than gift bags and cake," Murkoff said. "They were about connecting and sharing a common bond and creating friendships with women experiencing the same mix of emotions during one of the most important milestones of their life.”  

Half a world away from their relatives in the United States, moms and moms-to-be filed in to hear Murkoff answer questions and give pointers on getting through pregnancy and the early stages of child rearing.  

The Okinawa events – along with a May 11 event in Colorado Springs, Colo. – served as the launch for the USO/What to Expect Foundation partnership. The What to Expect Foundation plans to team with the USO for more Special Delivery events this year and is considering hosting multiple events in 2014.  

“This event was so amazing,” said Twalea Jordan, a military mom. “I think when you are back home in the States you have more resources you can go to get information. Over here, military families feel like we are limited. This event actually brought all that to us.”  

Heidi Murkoff and her husband, Erik, formed the What to Expect Foundation in 1997 with the goal of educating and empowering mothers in need so they could have healthier pregnancies, safer deliveries and happier babies.    

“It was important to us here at USO Pacific to bring the Special Delivery program and Heidi Murkoff to the island of Okinawa, because for so many of our moms, this will be their only baby shower and many will be delivering while their spouse is deployed,” said Carly Harris, USO Pacific Regional Vice President.  

See photos from the Special Delivery baby showers on the USO blog.  

Photo caption: Heidi Murkoff, right, author of the “What to Expect” series, teamed with the USO to host Special Delivery events last week at USO Kadena in Okinawa, Japan. USO photo by Chris Willson  

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