LOS ANGELES, Nov. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Baby Box Co., the company behind the global integrated program Baby Box University to improve maternal and infant healthcare outcomes, today announced that approximately one million Baby Boxes are in circulation globally through 2016 community programs to reduce infant mortality and increase maternal and child health. The Baby Box movement continues to accelerate this November with the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota, Berkshire County in Massachusetts, and San Antonio, Texas all adopting the Baby Box University program to help an additional 30,000+ moms and babies nationwide.
The Baby Boxes, which are made from a durable cardboard, can be used as a baby's bed for up to the first eight months of life. Replacing the need for the traditional Moses basket or cot, it is thought the small size of the Baby Box prevents babies from rolling onto their stomachs, which experts believe contributes to SIDS.
According to a new study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which draws on current research and serves as the first update to the Academy policy since 2011, approximately 3,500 infants die annually in the United States from sleep-related deaths, including sudden unexpected infant death (SUID); ill-defined deaths; and accidental suffocation and strangulation. The number of infant deaths initially decreased in the 1990s after a national safe sleep campaign, but has plateaued in recent years.
The use of Baby Boxes has been credited with helping Finland achieve one of the world's lowest infant mortality rates. The initiative, which enables every expecting woman in the country to claim a free Baby Box once she receives prenatal care and parenting information from a healthcare professional, is credited with helping to decrease Finland's infant mortality rate from 65 deaths for each 1,000 children born in 1938 to 3 deaths per 1,000 births in 2013.
The success of the Finnish Baby Box intervention inspired the founders of The Baby Box Co. to adapt this tradition with enhanced multi-media parenting curricula through Baby Box University to the benefit of nonprofits, hospitals, government institutions and individual families worldwide. The Baby Box University program's exponential growth has solidified the model as the most impactful safe sleep and parenting education intervention for millennials.
"I'm so proud to empower new parents with the physical and educational resources they need to feel confident," said Jennifer Clary, the CEO of The Baby Box Co., which is supplying these communities with the Baby Boxes and Baby Box University memberships. "Every parent has a right to the necessary tools to care for their infant and every child deserves a safe and supported start in life."
The brands included in the Baby Boxes are also committed to the program's education mission, with every product featuring a scientifically proven baby brain-boosting activity parents can do while using the item. "Pampers is proud to be part of the Baby Box programs," said E. Yuri Hermida, vice president, North America Baby Care, P&G. "As a brand dedicated to the happy, healthy development of babies for more than 50 years, we share Baby Box Co.'s important mission to support expecting parents with health education, and support new babies with a safe sleep environment."
Snapshot of Baby Box Launches Across the Nation This Month
On November 16th, international nonprofit Babies Need Boxes is holding a community baby shower to kick off the Twin Cities' new Baby Box program, which will be available to every family in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, estimated to be 17,000 babies.
"We believe it takes an entire community to help families be successful and safe. One of the most inspiring aspects of Babies Need Boxes is the outpouring of support that our program has inspired in mothers and public health professionals," said Danielle Selassie, Executive Director of Babies Need Boxes. "The Twin Cities' universal Baby Box program is the first step in a larger goal of building a strong global community of Baby Box supporters who can come together and help all families, regardless of socio-economic status, achieve their full potential."
On November 17th, nonprofit Berkshire Baby Box is hosting a "Baby Box Shower" in Berkshire County, Massachusetts with new parents, expectant moms and special guests to launch the universal countywide program. Senator-Elect Adam Hinds and Massachusetts State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier will be speaking at the Berkshire all-county launch.
"Receiving Baby Boxes for safe sleep is the most obvious 'takeaway' from our events, but for pregnant women these gatherings provide education and support by linking new mothers to each other, and to the network of services available in the wider Berkshire community," said Hinda Bodinger, Founder of Berkshire Baby Boxes.
University Health System in Texas has a similar goal for San Antonio families. Their staff is launching a San Antonio Baby Box University syllabus, which will shortly thereafter be added to and introduced citywide thanks to B.E.S.T., a groundbreaking safe sleep coalition formed by all the hospital systems in San Antonio working together.
"Our pilot program, which distributed Baby Boxes to new parents in need, was an incredible success — generating a lot of interest and excitement and providing each of those babies a safe place to sleep," said George B. Hernández Jr., president and CEO of University Health System. "Our region has seen a tragic increase in Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths, due largely to unsafe sleep practices, and our hope is the expansion of the Baby Box program will start to reverse that trend."
Families living in the communities launching Baby Box University programs will be eligible to receive a Baby Box which includes newborn essentials such as Pampers Swaddlers diapers, Pampers baby wipes, Vroom activity cards from the Bezos Family Foundation, Lansinoh breast pads, onesies, and much more.
While parents appreciate the Baby Boxes and quality products, it is the educational component and closer communication with local healthcare providers that is at the center of the Baby Box University distribution model. Families will be required to view their community's online curriculum related to prenatal care, breastfeeding, safe sleep practices and newborn care before receiving a free Baby Box. In this way, the Baby Box University program model pays its ultimate homage to the Finnish tradition, which is committed not just to universal product distribution, but to supporting its families with access to healthcare and education.
About The Baby Box Co.
Entrepreneurs Michelle Vick and Jennifer Clary founded The Baby Box Co. to offer a safe sleep environment to babies everywhere. The Baby Box Co. is an innovative, integrated program to support parents and improve maternal and infant healthcare outcomes globally. The Baby Box Co. partners with hospitals, government agencies and non-profit organizations to provide Baby Boxes, quality products, resources and ongoing education to families on a large scale. Baby Boxes are also available direct to consumer either as a standalone item or filled with new baby essentials. Serving families in 52 countries, The Baby Box Co. has offices in UK, USA, Canada, Australia, and Singapore. For more information or to purchase a Baby Box, please visit www.babyboxco.com and www.babyboxuniversity.com
About Babies Need Boxes
Babies Need Boxes is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides the life-saving Finnish Baby Box tradition to families in the United States and abroad. Our mission is to equip families with safe sleep education, a safe sleep environment for their baby, newborn care essentials to promote self-sufficiency and interactive items to foster positive parent/child interactions. For more information please visit. http://www.babiesneedboxes.org.
About Berkshire Baby Box
Berkshire Baby Box is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that provides the Finnish style "Baby Shower in a Box" to expectant mothers in The Berkshires, Massachusetts.
About University Health System
University Health System is a nationally recognized teaching hospital and network of outpatient healthcare centers, ranked Best Hospital in the San Antonio area by U.S. News & World Report. We provide exceptional care for high-risk mothers-to-be in a 21-county region of South Texas, and offer the highest level of care for newborns with a comprehensive team of neonatal specialists and a Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. University Hospital is the premier Level I trauma center and only Level I pediatric trauma center and burn program in South Texas. Learn more at UniversityHealthSystem.com.
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SOURCE The Baby Box Co.