Over a hundred new and expectant mums attended the ‘Baby Box Launch Event’ on Wednesday 19 July 2017 at Coventry’s Transport Museum from 10am until 12pm.
Baby Boxes are traditionally used in Finland as a baby’s bed in the first few months of life. Made from thick cardboard, they include a foam mattress, waterproof mattress cover and cotton sheet. The Baby Box artwork which is wrapped around the boxes has been designed locally by health and social care services. The unique look reflects key landmarks around the area representing both Coventry and Warwickshire.
NHS Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group (CRCCG) has worked with The Baby Box Company and local partners in order to bring the product to Coventry and Warwickshire. They will be given out pre-assembled at the launch event, completely free of charge. Baby Boxes will continue to be distributed for free following the event.
To get one delivered, new and expectant parents simply register with the Baby Box University website and watch some short educational videos on parent/child health topics. The videos, which will take about 20 minutes to watch, were filmed with local health experts and cover subjects like foetal movement and breastfeeding. The Baby Box Company will continue to offer free Baby Boxes for as long as their distribution is tied to parenting education, a key factor in improved health outcomes.
Jo Dillon, Deputy Director of Commissioning for NHS Coventry and Rugby CCG, said of the initiative, “We know that for parents the health and wellbeing of their baby is paramount. The Baby Box is a simple alternative to a Moses basket, helping babies to sleep safely in the first months of life. Use of the boxes has been proven to help reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and we are hoping to emulate this within Coventry and Warwickshire.”
George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust and Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust will be present at the event on the day. University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust will also be supporting the launch - on Thursday 20 July, a stand about the scheme will be displayed in the entrance lobby of the Women and Children's department at the University Hospital in Coventry. Parents-to-be will be able to take information about Baby Box, see an example of the box, and health staff will be on hand to answer questions about the scheme.
Jed Francique, Associate Director of Operations, Child and Family Services at Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, said, “We are proud to be part of this innovative programme. Our Health Visitors and Family Nurses already play a big part in providing support and advice to families from the birth of a baby until that child starts school, and Baby Box supports this work through its education films and the baby box itself.”
Carmel McCalmont, Head of Midwifery for University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, said, “We will encourage every new mother in the region to sign up to the Baby Box University site and receive a Baby Box. This will help us to educate new parents on the importance of safe sleeping practices, as well as other important topics like smoking in pregnancy.”
Wendy Jones, Associate Director for Women’s and Children’s Division at South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Baby Box is a great initiative that will really support families across Coventry and Warwickshire. Being a new parent can be daunting, but having access to all of this information is going to be extremely valuable. We are delighted to be involved in the Baby Box launch and I would encourage all expectant mums to come find out more about it.”
Jennifer Clary, CEO of The Baby Box Company, said, “We are delighted to continue the expansion of the Baby Box and Baby Box University programme within the NHS in the Coventry and Warwickshire region.”