New mothers laud baby boxes

Expectant mothers across Alberta are reaping a variety of  benefits from the new Welcome To Parenthood provincial pilot project.

The research study is based on Finland’s baby boxes, kits that new mothers have received there since 1938.

The baby boxes are made out of a decorated cardboard that can be converted into bassinets.

Each box contains essential items for newborns and new parents such as sleepers, diapers, a small mattress and guides to help parents through the first few months of their newborn’s life.

“My husband and I were extremely scared and anxious at becoming new parents,” Carrie Rivera said. “We really had no clue what to expect or what to do.”

Rivera, a Fort McMurray resident, received a baby box in January when her daughter, Bailey, was born.

“I knew that this would be very helpful so I signed up right away, and when I received the box I was thrilled with all of the useful supplies it contained,” she said.

Every parent who signs up for the program chooses a mentor, such as a family member or friend, to commit to regular contact with the new parents before and after their child is born. Rivera chose her aunt, Myrna Ellis.

“I knew that Carrie would need the help,” said Ellis, who informed her niece about Welcome To Parenthood. “Since I already have six children of my own that are grown I figured I could give her lots of advice and tips.”

When I received the box I was thrilled. – Carrie Rivera

“I hope this project can grow bigger because it really, really helps new parents who have no clue what to expect,” Rivera said.

“I highly recommend any expecting mother to take part in this because, through the mentorship and supplies, you will feel much better about becoming a mother.”

Karen Benzies of the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Nursing is the lead researcher of this project.

About Autumn-Rose Oberhammer 3 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Autumn-Rose Oberhammer worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2015-16 academic year.

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