Momma's Baby

Momma’s Baby owner Lori Lee Helman has always been mindful of environmental issues. But in 1999, when she became pregnant with her first child, Lori says, “My eyes opened a lot more to the need to keep harmful chemicals away from my baby.”

Her first step was to investigate cloth diapering. Unfortunately, she says, “I had a doctor who initially talked me out of using cloth diapers. He had no idea about the health and environmental impacts of disposables.”

She followed her doctor’s advice at first after her son Nathanael was born, but also started doing research about disposable diapers. “What I read alarmed me,” she said. “I found out about studies that linked disposable diapers to male sterility later in life. I also learned about the environmental implications of single-use disposable diapers and how they just sit in landfills when you throw them away. I thought, ‘That’s it. I no longer want him in disposables.’ I immediately put him into cloth diapers, and it was the best decision I ever made.”

Delighted at the absorbency and convenience of today’s cloth diapers (“No pins!”), Lori wanted to share what she had learned with others. She started Momma’s Baby, a Web based company she runs out of her Allentown, PA, home, selling cloth diapers and diapering accessories ten months after Nathanael was born, adding other natural products as she researched and tested things for her son.

Today, Lori has three children (with one more on the way!), and Momma’s Baby offers over 400 natural and organic products for cloth diapering, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, and baby care—from organic teething toys to all-natural baby sunscreen to organic cotton nursing pads. She soon plans to start manufacturing her own hemp organic cotton and hemp-silk baby bedding line, providing custom bedding ensembles for cribs and Moses baskets. All products will be made in the US by responsible factories that care for their workers and the environment.

To make things even more convenient for parents-to-be who want to surround their babies with all things organic, Momma’s Baby offers a gift registry program.

Lori herself is a walking resource on organic parenting. “I love telling people about organic baby care, and I’m also a big advocate for the benefits of breastfeeding. I practice co sleeping and attachment parenting,” she says. “I’m also homeschooling.” She offers plenty of articles on the above topics on the Momma’s Baby Web site, and she plans to launch a series of online and in-person classes very soon to teach others about the things she’s so passionate about.

What else can this busy mom fit into her schedule? A dream to grow Momma’s Baby into the green version of Babies ‘R’ Us, so people across the country can have easy access to organic baby care products. “It’s so important for moms and babies to have things that are organic and good on their bodies. My stores would have all of those
organic products and a section for moms to read and nurse, and classes going on. It’d be so great,” she says.

—Tracy Fernandez Rysavy