La Rochelle. The Pernelle Aufrédy maternity hospital certified by an eco-responsible label

La Rochelle. The Pernelle Aufrédy maternity hospital certified by an eco-responsible label

By Antoine Collin
Published on September 27, 2022 at 5:04 p.m.

Part of a regional strategy for the prevention and promotion of environmental health around early childhood since 2018, the Pernelle Aufrédy maternity hospital has obtained the Very High Sanitary, Social and Environmental Quality label.

Anne-Lise Ronnat and Xavier Danna co-founded the innovative project “1400 days for baby” in order to collect donations for the financing of the label. (©AntoineColin)

For several years, the Maternity Pernelle Aufrédy of La Rochelle is sensitive to the exposure of pregnant women and newborns, to endocrine disruptors and pollutants.

Omnipresent in our environment, they can have an impact on our health. It was therefore urgent to act for the hospital workers and this goes through this THQSE label. Indeed, pregnancy and the first 1,000 days of a child’s life are crucial.

From conception until the age of two, the child’s body is particularly sensitive to external elements such as endocrine disruptors and other harmful substances. Thanks to this label, maternity is spreading a new philosophy.

Auditioned in March 2022, by an external evaluating body SCOTECit obtained an excellent score of 91%, allowing it to obtain the highest level of labeling (gold medal).

Educate and raise awareness about environmental health

Since 2018, the La Rochelle maternity hospital has been working alongside ARS Nouvelle-Aquitaine to engage in the regional strategy for the prevention and promotion of environmental health around early childhood, i.e. pregnant women and infants.

This voluntary approach aims to limit the exposure of pregnant women and young children to certain toxic substances present in their environment. These substances are endocrine disruptors.

The consequences of these disruptors on health can be multiple for infants: function disorders and anomalies of the reproductive organs, precocious puberty, cancers, obesity or diabetes.

Indeed, pregnancy and the first days of infants are privileged moments to raise awareness, inform and adopt reflexes favorable to health. With this in mind, the women’s and children’s division – maternity, neonatology, pediatrics and hospital crèche – develops their practice on a daily basis to take advantage of the first moments of life. Thus, multiple actions have been deployed within the services,” explains Anne-Lise Ronnat, midwife coordinator.

First example: an animation of awareness workshops around environmental health, also called Nesting. They are run by 6 professionals from the center (two midwives, women, two childcare assistants and 2 childcare workers).

A third will be formed this fall. These workshops are intended both for agents who work in the women and children unit, for pregnant patients and their families.

Some hygiene products have also been replaced by healthier products such as ecological nappies, eco-labeled soap (only 3 ingredients) or disinfectant detergent (eco-certified and fragrance-free),” adds Anne-Lise Ronnat.

Another example of action: the adoption of eco-designed quality care such as hypnosis and acupuncture. According to the midwife, “they will have less impact on the health, economic, social and environmental level in the short, medium and long term. »

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The first action carried out within the maternity unit was the change in the diaper market in 2019. (©AntoineColin)

The floors are now also washed with water and microfiber and the incubators are disinfected with steam. At the hospital crèche, children’s meals are served on ceramic, stainless steel and glass dishes.

In the maternity ward, bottles are made of glass rather than plastic. In order to spread good practices to parents, an exemplary welcome bag is offered and outing advice integrating environmental health is provided collectively,” explains Anne-Lise Ronnat.

In summary, if the maternity has obtained this label, it is thanks to the commitment of many teams on health and environment issues for several years and the support of Horizon Atlantique 17 which finances these projects dedicated to the improvement in patient care.

The label thus implies the recognition of a policy of sustainable development as well as the increase in the level of requirement of the hospital. As a result, these actions, part of a collective sustainable development approach, implemented since 2018, have enabled the maternity unit to obtain the “gold level” label (THQSE).

Second THQSE certified maternity in New Aquitaine

In New Aquitaine, Pernelle Aufredy is the second maternity to have obtained this label “and in a complex health context”, specifies Xavier Danna, childcare worker at La Rochelle hospital.

We reached the GOLD level at 91%. It is the result of the strong and lasting commitment of many teams. These people have become benchmarks in sustainable development in their area of ​​expertise,” says Xavier Danna.

A great adventure and a chance for the La Rocelle-Ré-Aunis hospital group and its director Pierre Thépot, who sees in this certification “a strong message for all the other maternities” in the country.

We are in a territory where everything that will have a very sensitive environmental impact on health (…) We know that everything often plays out in the first days, in the first hours, and we wanted to show that we were involved in this accompaniment process, Pierre Thépot, director of the La Rochelle-Ré Aunis hospital group.

Maternity serves as an example and shows the way forward. Because, even if the impact of the environment on health no longer needs to be demonstrated, the ecological theme is not totally at the heart of concerns in hospitals.

We have here a strong example in this subject since we obviously want establishments to be able to participate more and more and better in the environment of each child, each adult from the point of view of environmental health, with a specific program around of the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, around parenthood and their involvement”, concludes Laurent Flammand.

In France, only 19 establishments have obtained this label. It’s a bit like the golden palm of green hospitals.

Parents will therefore be able to find an environment for their child and an education for themselves on which they will rely to transmit it to their child, but also to those around them in La Rochelle.

In the coming years, the maternity unit and more generally the hospital group wish to amplify these skills in the coming years. New areas have also been targeted by the staff, such as the establishment of a healthy breakfast in the maternity ward.

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La Rochelle. The Pernelle Aufrédy maternity hospital certified by an eco-responsible label