By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Apr 17, 2006 at 5:09 AM

After bringing home a new baby, there's plenty to tackle. However, sending out baby announcements is suddenly one thing you can take care of before even leaving the hospital, thanks to a new trend in self-serve kiosks for proud parents to introduce the newest member of their family.

The Birth Place at Columbia Center, an independent birthing hospital at 2025 E. Newport Ave., recently obtained one of these kiosks.

"To my knowledge, we are the only hospital with a kiosk like this," says Candy Casey, Columbia Center's chief executive officer. "We are so pleased to offer our families this fun, creative approach to sharing their news."

Shortly after birth, parents can take their new baby's photo at a self-service, electronic kiosk, located in the hospital's lounge. Then parents can post an online birth announcement on the Columbia Center Web site, and simultaneously send it to family and friends.

Mary Templeton used a similar kiosk when she gave birth to her first son in Atlanta. "It was pretty cool since I didn't have time to play around with this stuff once I got the baby home," she says.

The kiosk provides parents the opportunity to customize their birth announcements by selecting from a variety of backgrounds, frames and color choices. The baby's name, birth date, measurements, weight and other details may be posted with the photo. Parents may also post comments and other information they want to share.

Uber-creative parents mights find these announcements a tad generic, but the artistically-challenged or simply-to-busy-to-care parents will love 'em.

Parents choose whether to make the site available to the public or to create a password for friends and family to view their baby privately. Web site visitors are invited to sign the online guest book and share personal greetings with the new parents. The complimentary service is designed to provide a fast and convenient way for parents to announce their baby's arrival to friends and family.

"Out-of-state relatives appreciated how quickly they got to see my baby," says Templeton.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.