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
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.
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
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
"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
Published 28th January 2019
'Every aspect of my emergency care was dealt with quickly,
efficiently and professionally with full explanations and
compassion from all staff involved'.
Patient, Emergency Department, Darlington Memorial Hospital