Friday, January 22, 2016

Impact of Baby Boxes

Parenthood is hard, especially, for new parents. Many are ill-equipped to deal with it. Many don't have the right knowledge. And, all get overwhelmed at some point or another. But, the effects of is felt only by the new born. This is also a contributing factor to infant mortality rates.
The first year is the most difficult year (except for teen year’s maybe!). After the whole process of nine months, the mother is tired and help may not be easily available. The pressure might get to the parents, especially in western families where the grandparents do not live in the same house.  Moreover, not everyone can afford paid help. Hence, we see high infant mortality rates and high rates of postpartum depression, especially in the lower income group. 

However, Finland has found this ingenious idea for helping out new parents with the changing dynamics. It is called Baby Boxes. It is a revolutionary idea. It was first implemented in 1930s and since has helped countless new parents into parenthood. It is an ingenious idea which has greatly helped to reduce the mortality rate amongst infants in Finland.

So, what is a BABY BOX?

A Baby Box is a cardboard box which contains everything a parent may need for their new born. It is a box which comes fitted with a mattress so one can use it as a crib for their baby. It contains supplies like diapers, baby wipes, clothes of different sizes, winter clothes, a thermometer, a baby book, and loads of other baby stuff. The clothes are gender neutral, so they can be passed onto the next kid irrespective of their gender. The clothes are of various sizes to accommodate the growth rate of the new born. A lot of instruction manuals are also provided with the baby box to guide the parents onto the right path. There is a baby book too, in which you can note down the key developments of your child. It also has helpful notes for the parents.
To get the baby box, the parents have to pick them up from a health centre any time before the birth of their child. When they do so, they are asked to fill a questionnaire and are also allocated a local community parent mentor. This mentor provides personal guidance to the new parents.
Moreover, the commendable part of this program is that all people get the same baby box. That is, it does not matter which income group you belong to, or religion, or race; you will be given the same baby box.
Studies have shown that 95% parents pick the baby box over a stipend in Finland. And, the infant mortality rate of Finland is one of the lowest in the world; all because of the baby box.
This has become such a huge hit that Canada has now decided to implement this and many places in the USA are also thinking to implement this. I think that in a country like ours, with high infant mortality rate, it is something we can look into.  

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

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