On May 16, 2021, four community baby showers took place across the state of Massachusetts in the United States, in the cities of Attleboro, Clinton, Springfield, and Worcester. Each location provided physically distant access to free baby supplies and maternal wellness resources.
With the help of community partners, a total of 30 families received essential baby supplies, clothes, diapers, toys, and more, as well as information on sleeping, lactation, and birthing techniques. The community baby shower also reached more than 330 families via Unity Radio (97.9 FM) as listeners heard presentations on all things related to infant care and pre- and post-delivery self-care for mothers.
This latest endeavor is the ninth community baby shower coordinated by Glō Mom, a maternal-health advocacy organization. Three Adventist churches participated in this first simultaneous statewide endeavor: Attleboro Seventh-day Adventist Church, Springfield First Seventh-day Adventist Church, and Redemption Community Group in Clinton. The Vegan Nest Café hosted the site in Worcester.
Nicole Broushet, Glō Mom founder and co-owner of The Vegan Nest Café, sees the Adventist health message as a vital component in this work. “We often limit our health message to diet and nutrition,” Broushet said. “That’s a huge aspect of it, but health permeates every single aspect of our lives.” She credits books such as The Adventist Home and Child Guidance by Adventist Church co-founder Ellen White as sources that provide rich insight into the importance of mothers taking care of their physical and mental health. Broushet also cites a recent report from The Commonwealth Fund, highlighting that the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate among developed countries, and many of those deaths are preventable. “It’s alarming! It truly is a health crisis when we have such a large number of women who are being affected,” Broushet said.
Glō Mom focuses on the “whole mom” and addresses diet and nutrition, exercise, pregnancy advocacy, and other issues that impact mothers. Currently partnering with the College Church in South Lancaster, Massachusetts, Broushet hopes that other Adventist churches will consider getting involved. “As a maternal-health advocacy organization, it’s really about empowering women and connecting them with resources that are going to give them the most support possible so that they can have a healthy pregnancy,” she said.
Glō Mom serves as a facilitator organization for the events and provides a bridge for church ministries to connect with families in their communities. “The church members do the important work as they get involved and stay involved with the families that we’re supporting,” Broushet explained. She shared how several church ministries (e.g., women’s ministries, men’s ministries, family ministries, and health ministries) can all work together in this endeavor as they learn about the various needs of the families they encounter. “This is really total church involvement! There is something for everyone!” Broushet added, “I sincerely hope that churches prayerfully consider getting involved and taking these incredible truths that we have and truly using them to benefit others and the community around us.”