New Alberta mothers to get baby boxes as part of pilot project

Dec 19 2017, 10:56 am

Having a baby is hard work, but if you’re ill-prepared, it can make the job even tougher.

That’s why a new initiative from the University of Calgary called Welcome to Parenthood is starting a pilot project that sends baby boxes packed with essentials to new mothers.

The project has been in development since February of last year and started with information packages for new mothers. The newest leg of the project sends a box out to participating new mothers containing diapers, clothes, books, blankets, and a tiny mattress that transforms the cardboard box into sleeping quarters for the baby.

The Edmonton Journal says the project is based off Finland’s baby boxes for new mothers. Every mom in the country has received one since 1938.

“What we find is that there’s a lot of families in that transition who don’t know what they don’t know. They’re bombarded with so much media, so many calls to buy this expensive gizmo, buy that expensive this or that,” Karen Benzies, a U of C professor and principle investigator of the Welcome to Parenthood study told the publication.

“What we’re hoping to do by providing this tangible resource and this mentorship during this transition time is to really say to new parents in Alberta: ‘You’re important, we value you and your role. We want to provide you with the supports that you’re going to need to help you through this transition because you’re going to be successful but every parent needs a little help.’”

According to CBC, program participants are matched with mentors who help guide them through the initial stages of navigating life as new moms. They can be friends, family, or neighbours who have one-on-one contact with the mom.

“We know that moms and dads often needs someone to walk alongside them for a little while during that transition,” Benzies told CBC.

The program originally received a grant from the late Minister responsible for Alberta Human Services Manmeet Bhullar in 2014.

Participants must be 18 years old in order to qualify for the project and need to fill out questionnaires at various stages of the study.

DH Calgary StaffDH Calgary Staff

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