Baby Boxes for every child born in Birmingham and Solihull
Published: March 8, 2017
Birmingham and Solihull United Maternity and Newborn Partnership (Bump) launched a city-wide Baby Box programme today (Wednesday 8 March).
Every expecting parent in Birmingham and Solihull will be able to receive a free Baby Box for their newborn to sleep in. The Baby Box programme will encourage early engagement with maternity services and access to care for all pregnant women.
Most importantly, families receiving a Baby Box will have access to the Baby Box University, a comprehensive maternal and childcare education platform, available from pregnancy onwards. Bump has customised the educational content to suit the needs of new mums in Birmingham and Solihull. Available in a variety of languages, the content overcomes the language barriers that can be a problem in diverse populations.
The Baby Box tradition, which originates from Finland, has been credited with reducing the infant mortality rate in the country from 65 infant deaths per 1,000 births in 1938 to 2.26 per 1,000 births in 2015. The UK has some of highest rates of infant mortality in Europe, ranking 22nd out of the 50 European countries with 4.19 deaths per 1,000 births*.
The Baby Boxes, which are made from durable cardboard and come with a firm foam mattress, waterproof mattress cover and a cotton sheet, are traditionally used in Finland as a baby’s bed for the first months of their life. Replacing the need for a traditional Moses basket or cot, it is thought the small size of the Baby Box prevents babies from rolling onto their tummies, which experts think can contribute to sudden infant death syndrome.
Joy Payne, Head of Midwifery at Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I am delighted that Bump is introducing Baby Boxes to new mums in Birmingham and Solihull. They will be a really helpful resource for mums and families, enabling them to give their baby the best start.”
Helen Young, Programme Director for Bump, said: “Bump is really proud to be rolling out this very worthwhile initiative across Birmingham and Solihull, to ensure we give babies the best possible start in life. We want to do everything we can to reduce infant mortality across the region and we hope that mums-to-be and brand new mums will take advantage of the boxes as well as the online resources via the Baby Box University.”
Jennifer Clary, the CEO from The Baby Box Co., which is supplying the Baby Boxes and Baby Box University memberships for participating parents said, “We are delighted to continue the expansion of the Baby Box and Baby Box University programme within the NHS in Birmingham and Solihull.”
Barnardos and Umbrella, sexual health services for Birmingham and Solihull, were also at the launch to offer advice and support to families.