USO and What to Expect Foundation Hosted "Special Delivery" Baby Showers for 300 Military Moms-to-Be in Japan

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Best-Selling Author Heidi Murkoff provided a touch of home to expectant military spouses and service women who are far away from their families and friends.

New Mom and Dad pose for a photo with Heidi Murkoff.

Motherhood is the ultimate sisterhood.

For three days on the island of Okinawa at USO Kadena in Japan, there were no shortage of hugs as Heidi Murkoff, author of the world’s best-selling pregnancy and parenting series “What to Expect” hosted "Special Delivery" baby showers for military moms-to-be. Expectant mothers from all branches of the military were treated to gifts, games, food and shared in the experience to personally meet Heidi. They also got the chance to connect with other mothers-to-be as they face pregnancy far away from home.

“Motherhood is the ultimate sisterhood.” said Heidi Murkoff, author of the “What to Expect” series. “For military moms-to-be, far away from their immediate family and friends, these baby showers were more than gift bags and cake. 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.”

Each baby shower lasted about three hours and featured lunch, gifts, games, and a special “What to Expect” book signing. A question and answer session with Murkoff was one highlight of the event, sparking conversation and new connections for the expectant moms.

“This event was so amazing. It was nice to see other moms and share information. 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,” said Twalea Jordan, military mom.

Founded in 1997, the What to Expect Foundation has one mission: To educate and empower moms in need so they can expect healthier pregnancies, safer deliveries and healthier, happier babies. Heidi and her husband Erik, cofounders of the What to Expect Foundation, partnered with the USO to bring the
Special Delivery program to military moms-to-be worldwide. Our nation’s military families face unprecedented stressors like extended deployments and life with friends and family far away from home. The three Okinawa events marked the launch of the program.

“The USO adapts to meet the needs of our nation’s military with new and imaginative ways with programs that support troops and their families,” said Carly Harris, Regional Vice President USO Pacific. “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.”

The USO is committed to be always by the side of our nation’s military and their families with programs and services to help ease the stresses of military life. The USO and What to Expect Foundation plan to bring the special delivery program to military moms-to-be in one additional location this year with the potential for multiple events next year. The Murkoffs closed out their week in Okinawa with a visit to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa, holding newborns and offering hugs to new mothers.

Click here for images from the event. For more information about the What to Expect Foundation or to connect with Heidi online visit http://www.whattoexpect.com and for more information about USO programs and services to support military families worldwide visit http://www.uso.org.

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About the USO
The USO lifts the spirits of America’s troops and their families millions of times each year at hundreds of places worldwide. We provide a touch of home through centers at airports and military bases in the U.S. and abroad, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services. We also provide critical support to those who need us most, including forward-deployed troops, military families, wounded warriors and families of the fallen. The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. Our programs and services are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff.

About What to Expect Foundation
The What To Expect books, that all began with the iconic What To Expect When You're Expecting have sold more than 45 million copies and are published in over 30 languages.

Established in 1997, the What To Expect Foundation is dedicated to helping underserved families and empowering moms in need so that they can expect healthier pregnancies, safer deliveries and healthier, happier babies.

In 2005 the What To Expect brand expanded online with Whattoexpect.com - the interactive companion to the What To Expect books and home to a vibrant, vast yet close-knit community of over 4.5 million parents.

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Andrea Sok
USO
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