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Midwives helping reinforce health & safety messages

baby  boxes

Midwives across County Durham & Darlington are encouraging mum's to engage with an initiative from an international charity that reinforces some of the key health & safety messages for parents-to-be.

The Baby Box Co offers new and future parents online advice and information on how to give their baby the healthiest start in life and care for them safely.  County Durham & Darlington NHS Foundation Trust is one of the first trusts in England to recognise the benefits for parents.

baby boxes

The advice comes online in bite-size sections which each end in a series of questions to help parents check they've absorbed and understood what they've read. 

Developed in partnership with medical experts, topics relate to pregnancy, safe sleep, breastfeeding, maternal mental health, and parenthood, as well as scientifically based activities for early child development - such as brain developing activities to do with your baby.

Once all the sections have been completed parents qualify to receive a free Baby Box containing a variety of items such as nappies and baby wipes. The sturdy box, which they collect from midwives when attending an anti-natal appointment, includes a high quality mattress and  mattress cover that will come in useful once the baby arrives. Many families use the box as a travel cot or keep it at a grandparents house. 

Laura Hamilton, midwifery team leader, said, "Through our regular contact with mums and dads-to-be during pregnancy, we encourage a healthy lifestyle which benefits mums and gives babies the best start in life.  Not smoking and having a good diet are just two of the important messages we share.  Parents also receive lots of information and advice for once baby arrives.  The information from The Baby Box Co reinforces this and, importantly, can be done in the comfort of home, at their convenience. 

"The charity was originally set up with the aim of reducing sudden infant death syndrome, or cot death, by providing antenatal/postnatal education and knowledge around areas such as safe sleeping.  Sadly, it's not known why some babies die suddenly and for no apparent reason but experts do know placing a baby to sleep on their back reduces the risk, and allowing them to overheat increases the risk.  Offering the Baby Box reinforce these important messages which can help save lives.  Families are overwhelmingly welcoming both the online course and the free baby box."

Nikki Brodhurst, who is expecting her first baby in March, said, "Pregnancy is such an exciting time but there's lots of information to take in!  The midwives have been great, focusing initially on making sure my baby and I are fine during pregnancy.  As my due date approaches however, the focus moves to when the baby arrives and I found the online course very helpful.  It had some really interesting sections, some of which I didn't expect, such as awareness of car seat safety standards and making sure my car is well-maintained and safe. Doing the course at home was also convenient."


Published 28th January 2019

'I feel it is important to relay my experience back to let the staff know they are doing a brilliant job! I would like them to know I appreciated all they did for myself, my family and our beautiful baby girl.'

Patient, Labour Ward, Darlington Memorial Hospital