5 Questions to Consider Before and After Delivery

Helpful answers for new parents


Published:

Photo courtesy of Nata Lunata/Shutterstock.com

An informed parent is an empowered parent. Since having a baby generates a lot of questions, here are answers to five questions many parents consider before and after their baby’s birth.

1. Who do I want to deliver my baby?

Obstetricians/gynecologists are trained to handle non-pregnant and pregnant women’s health issues, including high-risk pregnancies. OB-GYNs also perform cesarean sections and other gynecological surgical procedures.

Family medicine doctors are also trained to deliver babies. Not all family medicine practitioners do, however, so find out if yours does before you count on it.

Certified nurse midwives are registered nurses who have obtained advanced education in nurse-midwifery and are certified by the American College of Nurse-Midwives. They provide well-woman care, prenatal and labor care, and newborn care up to 1 month of age. Certified nurse midwives work in hospitals, birth centers and homes, but most prefer one type of setting.

Certified professional midwives are trained, independent midwives certified by the North American Registry of Midwives. Direct-entry midwives have been trained through apprenticeship or a direct-entry midwifery school. Other types of midwives include certified midwives, licensed midwives, registered midwives and lay midwives. North Carolina currently approves only certified nurse midwives to practice and does not recognize or license other types of midwives, according to the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

Doulas do not offer medical care, but can provide physical and emotional support during and after labor and birth in any setting.

Learn more about local labor and delivery resources by visiting our Labor/Childbirth Education and Support directory.

2. What options do I have for managing pain during and after delivery?

The most common way to cope with labor pain is anesthesia. An epidural enables the continuous administration of pain medication through a small catheter into the area outside the spinal cord but inside the vertebral canal of the spinal column. The medication is usually an anesthetic and narcotic.

A spinal block is delivered directly into the spinal fluid via a one-time injection rather than a continuous flow. Pain relief comes fast, but only lasts a few hours.

Many doctors now provide a combined spinal-epidural, which offers quick and continuous relief. All of these options are only available in a hospital setting.

Systemic medications, which can dull or lessen pain, but not completely eliminate it, are given intravenously or injected directly into a muscle. Narcotics provide the pain relief and are sometimes used with an anti-anxiety or anti-nausea medicine. Narcotics affect the whole body and may make you sleepy.

Some women choose medication-free alternatives to mask pain. For example, doulas can teach pain-reducing labor positions and offer other coping tools. “Hypnobirthing” consists of self-hypnosis techniques that facilitate a more relaxed birth. Other alternative pain relievers include acupuncture, reflexology, patterned breathing, aromatherapy and meditation.

3. What should I consider when deciding about circumcision?

Some parents choose to circumcise their son based on tradition or because it feels like the “normal” thing to do. Others may choose it for religious reasons or because they believe it is more hygienic or helpful in preventing sexually transmitted diseases. Parents may oppose circumcision for religious reasons, to prevent pain, or because they feel it violates human rights or isn’t medically necessary.

According to a National Center for Health Statistics report, circumcision decreased in the U.S. between 1995 and 2008 from 64 to 58 percent. In 2009, the American Journal of Public Health reported lower rates of circumcision in states where Medicaid does not cover the procedure, so this may partially explain the drop.

In 2005, the American Academy of Pediatrics reaffirmed the following 1999 statement in support of circumcision: “Existing scientific evidence demonstrates potential medical benefits of newborn male circumcision; however, these data are not sufficient to recommend routine neonatal circumcision.”

Ashley Marshall, a certified nurse midwife with Carrboro Midwifery, says circumcision is no longer considered as necessary as it once was. “Routine infant circumcision is a cosmetic procedure and is not needed for the health and well-being of the baby as it was once thought in previous decades,” Marshall says.

Consider discussing circumcision’s pros and cons with your health care provider to determine what is best for your family.

4. Can I find out my baby’s blood type after he or she is born?

A newborn metabolic screen does not identify blood type. However, some health care providers routinely collect blood from the baby’s umbilical cord for various reasons, while others do not.

“A mother’s midwife or OB will collect a small sample of blood from the cord after it is cut for several reasons, one being if the mother has a negative Rh blood type,” Marshall says.

Other reasons include checking bilirubin levels, determining blood gas levels or the blood sugar level, obtaining a complete blood count or platelet count, or taking a blood culture.

Check with your health care provider before your child’s birth to see if he or she plans to collect a cord blood sample at delivery, and whether you will be able to find out your child’s blood type. If blood is not collected at birth, you can always request a blood-type test from your baby’s pediatrician via a heel stick.

5. What happens to my baby’s umbilical cord blood?

After your baby is born and the cord is still attached, blood continues to flow between baby and mom for a few minutes. Once the cord is cut and clamped, the placenta detaches from the uterus, is delivered and is later discarded as biomedical waste, along with the cord.

You may be able to donate or bank your baby’s cord and placenta blood. There are two types of cord blood banks: public and private. A public bank makes your baby’s blood available to anyone who needs a transplant. It is not reserved for your family and there is no cost to donate. The Carolinas Cord Blood Bank (americordblood.com) works with Americord, an organization that collects, processes and stores stem cells for future medical or therapeutic use by the family who saves them.

If you deliver at a hospital not associated with CCBB but would like to donate your baby’s cord blood, call 866-389-3448 or visit the website to find out how to do this.

You can also privately bank your child’s cord and placenta blood so it will be stored exclusively for your family (collection and annual storage fees apply). Search online for private banks across the country that will allow you to ship your baby’s cord blood to them.

 

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August 2019

August 16th is National Tell a Joke Day. Come to the Finley Center anytime during the day to share some jokes with the park community. A large board will be set up in the Exhibit Hall where...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
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For almost 200 years, farmers brought their wheat and corn to what is now Yates Mill to have their grains ground into flour and meal. Today, you can stop by the Yates Mill visitor center to see a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Cost: Free

Where:
Erwin Road
Durham, NC  27705
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Sponsor: Mindful Families of Durham
Contact Name: Adam, Laura, Josh, Sumi
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Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

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Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
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Enjoy live music, kid activities, a taco eating contest and The Best Taco contest.

Cost: Free

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Knightdale Station Park
810 N. First Ave.
Knightdale, NC  27545
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Step back in time with our 19th-century costumed interpreters and watch the millstones at work grinding corn into meal. Tour fee: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60 & over), $3/Child (ages 7-16),...

Cost: $5/Adult, 4$/Senior (60+), $3/Child (7-16), 6&Younger Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Stop in during one of our Back to School Open Houses!  Meet our instructors, tune your instrument, learn a quick song and more!. Aug 12th 7-8:30 Brass & Woodwinds Aug 17th 12:30-2:00...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bach to Rock Music School
9587 US 64
Apex, NC  27523
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Sponsor: Bach To Rock Music School
Telephone: 919-446-5386
Contact Name: Kelly Foster
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See the Game Grumps play games, make jokes and more in this stage show. Purchase tickets online. 

Where:
Durham Performing Arts Center
123 Vivian St.
Durham, NC  27701
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Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
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Wake Forest, NC  27587
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Ages 11-17 learn how to make foods inspired by Asia. Register online. Choose course #124729.

Cost: $35/resident, $46/nonresident

Where:
Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
Cary, NC
View map »


Website »

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Stop in during one of our Back to School Open Houses!  Meet our instructors, tune your instrument, learn a quick song and more!. Aug 12th 7-8:30 Brass & Woodwinds Aug 17th 12:30-2:00...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bach to Rock Music School
9587 US 64
Apex, NC  27523
View map »


Sponsor: Bach To Rock Music School
Telephone: 919-446-5386
Contact Name: Kelly Foster
Website »

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Cost: Free

Where:
Locopops Dessert Cafe
2618 Hillsborough St.
Durham, NC  27705
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Dragonflies love to eat flying bugs, especially mosquitoes and gnats!  Discover the different parts of a dragonfly's body through a colorful craft, learn about its life cycle, and play fun...

Cost: Free

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
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Sponsor: Crowder County Park
Telephone: 919-662-2850
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Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
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Website »

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Join us at Harris Lake County Park as we explore the wonders of water through educational activities and some for just plain fun! We will dip for critters in our pond to discover what lives...

Cost: Free

Where:
Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC  27562
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Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
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Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
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Website »

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Enjoy tea time for the whole family. Samples of hot tea, cold tea, and kombucha will be provided, along with games and family fun.

Cost: Free

Where:
IngenuiTea Kombucha Coffee & Tea
514 E Williams St
APEX, NC  27502
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Sponsor: IngenuiTea Brews
Telephone: 919-438-3684
Contact Name: Mark Poole
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Come to Learning Express Falls Pointe for an instructive class on how to make your very own Do-A-Dot Art creation.

Cost: Free

Where:
Learning Express Falls Pointe
9660 Falls of Neuse Rd
#130
Raleigh, NC  27615
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Sponsor: Learning Express Falls Pointe
Telephone: 919-325-6057
Contact Name: Stephanie Gillespie
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Join park staff for an informal fishing experience for the whole family. Bring your own poles or borrow one of ours through the Tackle Loaner Program. Bait and basic instruction are provided. All...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Pkwy.
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
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Take the fast track to nature in this hands-on study of ecology. Ages 8-12. Register online. Choose course #124972.

Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

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Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
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Website »

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Cost: Free

Where:
Orange County Main Library
137 W. Margaret Ln.
Hillsborough, NC  27278
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Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 919-245-2539
Contact Name: Libbie Hough
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Cost: Free

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The Wine Feed
307 S Roxboro St
Durham, NC  27701
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Sponsor: Raleigh Night Market
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Film to be announced. *Actual time to be determined by sunset. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, and picnics to enjoy a movie under the stars in our beautiful garden!

Cost: Free

Where:
GREGG MUSEUM OF ART & DESIGN
1903 Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Sponsor: Gregg Museum of Art & Design
Telephone: 919-515-3503
Contact Name: Gregg Museum
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Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
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Website »

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Personality Festival is a Roxboro tradition. Enjoy amusements rides along Main Street, food vendors, singers, dancers, craft and merchandise vendors, local businesses and more. Little Miss...

Cost: Free

Where:
Uptown Roxboro
211 N. Main St.
Roxboro, NC  27573
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Sponsor: Roxboro Area Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 336-599-8333
Contact Name: Melissa
Website »

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Bring your friends and family to Learning Express for a Family Game Night. There will be several games available to play including popular board games, card games, arcade games, and dice...

Cost: Free

Where:
Learning Express Falls Pointe
9660 Falls of Neuse Rd
#130
Raleigh, NC  27615
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Sponsor: Learning Express Falls Pointe
Telephone: 919-325-6057
Contact Name: Stephanie Gillespie
Website »

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Kids spend a night out in nature making memories and new friends in an old-fashioned, camp-style program. Ages 8-12. Register online. Choose course #124903.

Cost: $15/resident, $19/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Take the family for a night of jigs, reels and anything Celtic. 

Cost: $3/person

Where:
Carrboro Century Center
100 N. Greensboro St.
Carrboro, NC  27510
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Cost: Free

Where:
Durham Central Park
501 Foster St.
Durham, NC  27701
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Cost: Free

Where:
Town Hall Campus
316 N. Academy St.
Cary, NC  27513
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Website »

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The North Carolina Boys Choir and Girls Choir Half-Day Camp and Music Workshop is open to public (all children in our community between 7 and 14 years of age). Register online. ...

Cost: Free

Where:
Binkley Baptist Church
1712 Willow Dr
Chapel Hill, NC  27514
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Sponsor: North Carolina Boys Choir and Girls Choir
Telephone: 919-239-9083
Contact Name: Robert Unger
Website »

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Learn basic canoeing skills and a bit about the millpond's history, then head out to explore the pond's many features as seen only from the water. Canoes, paddles, and life jackets are...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Leigh Farm Park
370 Leigh Farm Rd.
Durham, NC  27707
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Website »

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Cost: Free

Where:
Duke Homestead
2828 Duke Homestead Rd.
Durham, NC  27705
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Website »

More information

Personality Festival is a Roxboro tradition. Enjoy amusements rides along Main Street, food vendors, singers, dancers, craft and merchandise vendors, local businesses and more. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Uptown Roxboro
211 N. Main St.
Roxboro, NC  27573
View map »


Sponsor: Roxboro Area Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 336-599-8333
Contact Name: Melissa
Website »

More information

Celebrate North Carolina farming culture and history at Duke Homestead. Don't miss the looping contest and Hornworm Race. This event features live music, local arts and crafts vendors, hands-on...

Cost: Free

Where:
Duke Homestead
2828 Duke Homestead Rd.
Durham, NC  27705
View map »


Website »

More information

This event is FREE and open to the public! Join Read-a-roo and her PBS KIDS friends for a music-filled day of concerts, hands-on activities and more, Saturday, August 24, from 10 AM to 2 PM, at...

Cost: Free

Where:
University Place
201 S. Estes Dr
Chapel Hill, NC  27514
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Sponsor: UNC-TV

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Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn basic canoeing skills and a bit about the millpond's history, then head out to explore the pond's many features as seen only from the water. Canoes, paddles, and life jackets are...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Take the family for treats, music, art and more. See a special exhibit showcasing the work of Artspace's talented young artists.

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace
201 E. Davie St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Want to get inside Historic Yates Mill? Join us for a half-hour tour (starting at 1:00, 1:30, 2:00, 2:30 & 3:00 p.m.) to view the main power drive and milling machinery while exploring the...

Cost: $5/Adult, 4$/Senior (60+), $3/Child (7-16), 6&Younger Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Come into Learning Express North Hills for a trading event. Socialize with others who collect Pokemon and/or LOL dolls and negotiate for rare cards.

Cost: Free

Where:
Learning Express Falls Pointe
9660 Falls of Neuse Rd
#130
Raleigh, NC  27615
View map »


Sponsor: Learning Express Falls Pointe
Telephone: 919-325-6057
Contact Name: Stephanie Gillespie
Website »

More information

Children make treasured memories while increasing their knowledge of plants and animals. Ages 7-10. Register online. Choose course #124931.

Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Clayton Town Square
100 W. Main Street
Clayton, NC  27520
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Sponsor: First Baptist Church of Clayton and Horne Memorial UMC of Clayton
Telephone: 919-218-4010
Contact Name: Melissa Dooley
Website »

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Cost: $25 first child, $20 each additional child

Where:
East Cloud Kungfu, LLC
5655-A Western Blvd
Raleigh, NC  27606
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Sponsor: East Cloud Kungfu, LLC
Telephone: 252-646-7053
Contact Name: Imari Colon
Website »

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North Carolina State University celebrates the beginning of a new academic year with good, music and family-friendly activities. 

Cost: Free

Where:
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC  27607


Website »

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Cost: Free

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
400 Fayetteville St.
Raleigh, NC
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