A couple expecting their first child...pregnant wife with husband. Photo...

A couple expecting their first child...pregnant wife with husband. Photo taken on: June 25th, 2009 . Credit: Dremstime

Expectant and new parents have a lot to learn, and the Expecting Parents & Baby Expo at Leonard's of Great Neck on Sunday offers a crash course.

"We're expecting approximately 70 exhibitors," says Mark Neuwirt, president of Expos Your Business of Jericho. "Doctors and other professionals will be presenting valuable educational information."

Admission is $10 per person or $20 per family.

Speakers will address breast-feeding, the first month with baby, childproofing and more. Here is a sampling of topics and booths:


While breast-feeding is a natural way to feed baby, it doesn't always come naturally. Couples can ask questions about breast-feeding of members of the Allied Breastfeeding Support Team of the Allied Physicians Group.

WHO'LL BE THERE Dr. Lauren Macaluso, a New Hyde Park pediatrician whose practice specializes exclusively in breast-feeding, will speak during the expo about common challenges, such as how to know if the baby is getting enough milk and if breast-feeding hurts.

MORE INFO At the table, Macaluso can explain what she does in her practice. She sees mother and baby together and tracks the baby's weight, reviews optimal positions and addresses issues such as breast infections and suckling problems.


The blood in the baby's umbilical cord can be collected in the minutes after birth and stored for years. That blood is full of stem cells that could treat dozens of diseases, including leukemia and other blood disorders, if the child or an immediate family member develops them in the future. Parents can also store umbilical cord tissue, which can be used to address even more illnesses.

WHO'LL BE THERE Melissa Schneider, a regional sales manager for the for-profit Cord Blood Registry, will explain cord blood banking to couples. "Some of them, their doctors have talked to them ahead of us; some of them have no idea what it's about," she says.

MORE INFO The Cord Blood Registry is a private company, and it charges $1,650 to bank blood only and $2,700 to bank blood and umbilical cord tissue. Storage costs $150 a year for blood and $300 for blood and tissue. If couples enroll at the event, they'll get a $300 to $500 discount and receive the collection kit.


"Young families have a lot more responsibilities, and planning for their financial future frequently gets lost in the shuffle," says Gregg Cohen, a financial professional with AXA Advisors of Woodbury.

WHO'LL BE THERE Cohen and members of his team will address parents' questions about planning for children's futures while balancing saving for their own retirements. "Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that time is on the side of young families," Cohen says. "They can make investments for the future and allow them to grow over a long period of time."

MORE INFO Couples can pick up information on investment planning, insurance planning, college savings plans and more.


Two types of doulas work on Long Island -- labor doulas offer a woman nonmedical emotional and physical support through her labor to birth, and postpartum doulas help during the first weeks with newborn. Labor doulas charge $750 to $2,500 and postpartum doulas charge $25 to $45 per hour, says Deborah Rotunno, president of the Long Island Doula Association, a nonprofit umbrella group whose members support women through their childbearing years.

WHO'LL BE THERE Rotunno and members of the Long Island Doula Association council. Council members will speak during the expo on self-hypnosis to help through childbirth, vaginal births after C-sections, and placental encapsulation, in which the placenta is dehydrated, ground and put into capsules that mothers take.

MORE INFO Expo attendees can also find information about women's prerogatives during labor. For instance, they are allowed to get up and walk around, to get in the shower and more.


"There's so much excitement and preparing for the baby. Picking the perfect stroller, the perfect car seat, taking Lamaze classes," says Vanessa Barisano, a nurse educator at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow. Some women aren't aware that they might experience perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, including postpartum depression.

WHO'LL BE THERE Barisano, who facilitates support groups, will be at a table sponsored by Nassau University Medical Center, and she'll also be a speaker during the event.

MORE INFO Expectant parents can pick up information at the table about where to turn for treatment and support on Long Island.

WHAT Expecting Parents & Baby Expo

WHEN | WHERE 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at Leonard's of Great Neck, 555 Northern Blvd., Great Neck

INFO $10 per individual, $20 per family; 347-699-6040, expectingparentsbabyexpo.com

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