MommyCon Anaheim 2015
A sea of babywearing, breastfeeding, and shopping!
I've been curious about MommyCon for a couple years now, but never seemed to remember the event in time to grab a ticket before it inevitably sold out. This year, the event venue changed just a couple months prior to the big day and more tickets were sold for a short period. So, I jumped on the opportunity and on Saturday, November 14th, 2015, I grabbed a bunch of business cards and postcards, the most dreadfully uncomfortable shoes I never thought through, and a camera before excitedly driving to the Anaheim Marriot, near Disneyland.
My doula partner, Mary McDonald, had been asked to work the event as a Child Passenger Safety Tech, answering parents' questions &
teaching snippets about car seat safety at a booth throughout the day. What a treat that ended up being, as she got to be front and center when The Baby Guy NYC, Jamie Grayson, did Q&A sessions at the Baby Guy Gear Area. Many of the women (and their likely-worn babes) lined up solely for the purpose of getting a photo with this Mommy-World celebrity, but a few had great questions about products that Jamie addressed in his ever-honest, zero-shits-given manner. He tells it like he sees it, which consumers obviously appreciate: he's got over 40,000 followers on Twitter and well over 200,000 fans on Facebook! His website boasts dozens of product reviews, with especially helpful videos that break down the ins and outs of strollers, car seats, and baby gadgets.
The final presentation of the day, Car Seat Safety, was led by Jamie as well (who is a CPST himself),
One of the day's highlights for me was the Exposing the Silence Project: From Trauma to Strength presentation by Lindsey Askins. She's a professional photographer, doula, and birth advocate living in San Diego who joined Cristen Pascucci, founder of Birth
Monopoly and Vice President of ImprovingBirth.org, to bring the voices and stories of women who experience trauma during childbirth to the attention of the public. I had been following this project for months in awe, admiration, and disgust-a crazy combination of emotions that you probably won't understand unless you take a trip through their gallery. Needless to say, I was super pumped about hearing Lindsey speak, asking questions about how doulas can help prevent birth trauma, and learning more about the types of trauma that occur during childbirth. And this discussion did not disappoint; she taught the audience what obstetric violence is, implored women and families to understand the universal medical definition of informed consent, and opened up a forum for birthers in the audience to discuss specific trauma they had experienced while birthing. Though difficult to listen to at times because of the nature of the topic, I learned so much from this 45-minute session that I wished it had been a whole day experience (hint, hint, nudge, nudge). I know I'm not the only person whose event ticket price was well worth it if only to attend this workshop!
The vendor exhibitor hall wasn't my favorite part of MommyCon Anaheim, but I'm sure that has something to do with the brain overload I was experiecing. So many things to look at, people to pass by, baby carriers to admire...overwhelming for this convention newbie for sure. A few really cool booths stood out, so I'd like to highlight them here. Mary took a liking to embe, whose booth was a big hit in the crowd because they had adult-sized swaddle displays for demonstration and hilarity purposes. She really loved the soft texture, the well-thought-out design, and the fact that they have an organic version as well.