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Hospital encourages new moms to “go organic”

Bolingbrook – Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital is encouraging expectant and new mothers to “go organic” by providing them with non-toxic, organic and earth-friendly products. Under a new agreement with Earth Mama Angel Baby, a manufacturer of organic, all natural products for pregnancy, delivery and baby care, the hospital will offer only baby products that are 100 percent toxin-free, cruelty-free, vegan, and free from all artificial preservatives, fragrances and dyes. Earth Mama Angel Baby, based in Clackamas, Ore., uses the highest-quality, certified-organic or organically grown herbs and oils for its products – a philosophy embraced by Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital.

 “As a faith-based institution, we take a whole-person approach to wellness that takes into account mind, body and spirit,” said Kathy Mitchell, the hospital’s chief nursing officer. “For our tiniest patients, this means using natural and organic herbal products.”

 Prenatal class participants and patients treated in Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine Center (which offers neonatal services for premature and critically ill newborns) receive samples of Earth Mama Angel Baby’s Earth Mama Body Butter, Natural Stretch Oil and Monthly Comfort Tea. Upon their discharge from the hospital, all new mothers receive Earth Mama Angel Baby gift bags filled with Angel Baby Lotion, Angel Baby Shampoo and Body Wash, Angel Baby Bottom Balm and Monthly Comfort Tea. Mothers who choose to breastfeed also receive Natural Nipple Butter, a plant-based balm. Women who lose their baby through miscarriage or stillbirth receive a gift set that includes a Light of My Heart Candle Gift Set, No More Milk Tea, Healing Heart Hot Packand other items. All moms also receive discount coupons for Earth Mama Angel Baby products sold in the hospital’s gift shop.

 Earth Mama Angel Baby products are free from 1.4 dioxane, a carcinogen found in products using petrochemical ingredients for products such as shampoo, and also free from phthalates, synthetic chemicals commonly found in PVC plastics, cosmetics, personal care products and plastic toys; studies show that some phthalates can alter human male reproductive development. Research published in the February 2008 issue of Pediatrics pinpointed shampoo, lotion, baby powder and other baby care products as possible sources of phthalates exposure in infants.

 “With our floor to ceiling windows and artwork showcasing the four seasons, Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital already has a strong connection to the outside world,” Mitchell said. “We want to take that connection to the next level by embracing earth-friendly products for new moms and their babies.”

 Hospital officials also will champion breastfeeding by excluding baby formula samples from gift bags given to breast-feeding mothers unless they sign a form specifically requesting the formula.

 In doing so, hospital officials hope to encourage more women to breastfeed. A recent medical journal study concluded that formula sample packs given to new moms upon discharge from the hospital can undermine breastfeeding. Eliminating the samples from hospital gift bags might help increase breast-feeding rates, stated the study, published in the September issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.