Move over, commanders. A cute crew of babies will soon be in charge at Scott Air Force Base.
Nearly 100 families at Scott will report for "diaper duty" in the next nine months. Half of those pregnancies were reported in the same week, according to the staff at Scott's Family Advocacy Program.
"Just this past Christmas, we had over 40 pregnancies," said outreach manager Mauranda Bembry. "We're sure there's more."
The baby boom at Scott is now evident with more bumps on base than usual.
"We have an influx of expectant mothers and fathers," Bembry said Wednesday before a baby shower hosted by the furniture company Delta Children and CJ First Candle, an organization focused on reducing the rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Sudden Unexpected Infant Death and stillbirth. The group also supports those who have experienced a loss.
Bembry's office supports families on base as they prepare for their new bundles of joy. The group of new arrivals will keep the staff busy even after their mothers give birth.
Debra Rhoda, a family advocacy nurse at Scott, said the announcements came back-to-back in about week.
"We were like 'whoa,'" Rhoda said.
Each family received a gift bag filled with baby clothes, bottles and other must-have items.
The biggest gift came from Delta Children, a furniture company based in New York City.
Joe Shamie, president of Delta Children, gave each family in attendance a portable crib. But more than that, Shamie offered them valuable advice about safe sleep.
"When it comes to the crib, read the instructions," Shamie said. "If it comes to the end and you have an extra screw, you screwed up."
The crowd chuckled, but also took Shamie's tips about safe sleep seriously.
Nicole Copple, an expectant mom at Scott who will soon find out the sex of her baby, said safe sleep is a topic she's read about, but like many new moms in the room, she wanted to know more.
"I am a first-time mom" Copple said. "Being in the medical field I know some stuff, but probably not as much as I could."
Both first-time and experienced parents walked away with information about safe sleeping habits for their babies.
In the future, Scott wants the shower to an become an annual event.
"Our military families don't have their families here," Rhoda said. "We're to provide that support for them."