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Baby box scheme launched at Ipswich Hospital in a bid to reduce cot deaths

PUBLISHED: 16:25 16 June 2017

Baby Jasper with mum Farren Webb at the launch of the Ipswich Hospital baby box programme. Picture: BABY BOX CO

Baby Jasper with mum Farren Webb at the launch of the Ipswich Hospital baby box programme. Picture: BABY BOX CO

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Mums at Ipswich Hospital will now be given a free cardboard box for their newborn to sleep in, as the trust joins a fast-growing movement which is said to be saving babies' lives.

Baby Lily with mother Sarah Pawsley. Picture: BABY BOX COBaby Lily with mother Sarah Pawsley. Picture: BABY BOX CO

New parents will have the box, which comes with a mattress and other useful items such as nappies, delivered to their home after completing an online education course, giving advice on how to keep themselves and their baby safe and healthy.

The programme aims to combat sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), sometimes called cot death.

Baby boxes originated in Finland and are credited with reducing infant morality rates in the country from 65 deaths per 1,000 births in 1938 to 3 deaths per 1,000 in 2013.

As a result, they have become increasingly popular in the UK and in October they were introduced at Colchester Hospital.

Baby Lily Pawsley having a rest in one of the cardboard sleeping boxes. Picture: BABY BOX COBaby Lily Pawsley having a rest in one of the cardboard sleeping boxes. Picture: BABY BOX CO

Babies can sleep in the boxes, which are being provided to Ipswich Hospital by The Baby Box Co, for around six months.

Helen Smith, consultant midwife at Ipswich, said staff at the trust were “really pleased” to be working with the company on this new venture.

She added: “Not only does it offer mothers essential education about safety, looking after themselves and keeping their babies healthy, but also provides a lovely box where their baby can sleep for the first few months which they can keep as a momento.

“This is a great opportunity to make some really important health messages easily accessible for all of the women in our care whilst also making sure all babies have access to a safe sleeping environment.”

Baby Arthur Laye in his new baby box. Picture: BABY BOX COBaby Arthur Laye in his new baby box. Picture: BABY BOX CO

Mums will be able to read through the syllabus at www.babyboxuniversity.com. They will complete a short quiz after watching a series of online videos covering subjects such as the safest place for babies to sleep, birth choices, looking after yourself in pregnancy and smoking cessation.

The videos have been put together specifically for Ipswich and feature staff from the hospital, who give advice and share their expertise while highlighting further sources of support which are available locally.

Those who do not have access to the internet at home will be able to watch the videos on a tablet when they come into hospital to give birth.

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