Sunday, 19 February 2017 08:56

Hospitals gift red onesies to promote heart health

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red onsies3 2 17 coParents of infants already know their babies to be special gifts, but this month many newborns in central Illinois will be getting a sweet little gift of their own simply because they were born in February.

That’s because three HSHS hospitals — St. John’s in Springfield, St. Francis in Litchfield and St. Mary’s in Decatur — are all recognizing heart month by having the tiniest patients raise awareness about preventing heart disease. Every baby born in these three hospitals during February will receive a red onesie that will help make parents and loved ones aware of heart disease.

“We hope having the little ones dressed in red will help start conversations about making healthy lifestyle changes,” said Elisa Feldmann, RN, who is manager of the family birth center at HSHS St. Francis Hospital.

Stephanie Lake, director of maternal care at HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital echoes that sentiment. “We love giving these gifts to new parents and their babies,” she said. “We hope it helps start a conversation about a heart healthy lifestyle.”

Baby in red co“Almost everyone knows someone who has been affected by heart disease and this is just one way we can raise awareness in the month of February,” said Vernessa Glover, executive director of HSHS St. John’s Children Hospital and Women’s Services. “St. John’s is home to the Prairie Heart Institute and we are committed to the community’s heart health.”

The Prairie Heart Institute of Illinois also provides these healthy living stress management tips to keep your heart strong and healthy:

  • Take deep breaths.
  • Make a to-do list or schedule to help prioritize your day.
  • Get plenty of sleep.
  • Eat healthy.
  • Exercise regularly
  • Keep a journal. Writing down your feelings helps to get them out.
  • Avoid smoking and limit your alcohol intake.

For more healthy living tips, or to view an interactive heart guide, go the Prairie Heart Institute of Illinois website at

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