From Finland with love
Baby Boxes proving popular in Cape Breton
Build it and they will come. At least that’s what local chiropractor Dr. Jen Maher is discovering when it comes to the Baby Boxes she’s now distributing from her Grand Lake Road practice.
Earlier this week, Maher began handing out the Canadian version of the Baby Box, an item that health authorities in Finland have been sending home with new mothers for the past 75 years.
“Monday and Tuesday were a little nuts and we’re still getting lots of calls from fathers, mothers, grandmothers, mother-inlaws, all wanting to get one,” said Maher, who, with twoyear-old son Ethan and another on the way, has taken a special interest in treating expectant mothers.
“Ironically, the first people to pick up boxes on Monday were men — everybody thinks the boxes are really neat and they’re grateful to get them.”
Maher said about half her stock of boxes has already been depleted and a Halifax distributor is already waiting on another shipment after giving its initial inventory away in just a few days.
The boxes are courtesy of the Baby Box Company, a private organization whose mission is to promote maternal and infant health and well-being.
While only introduced in Canada last year, the boxes have been a traditional part of Finnish parenthood since the Second World War, when the Scandinavian country began addressing its higher-thanaverage child mortality rate, that is now among the lowest in the world.
The boxes come with a lined mattress and a variety of swag that includes lots of baby stuff, including diapers, wipes and teething ring.
Parents are required to take a short online educational course after which they receive a certificate that can be redeemed for a Baby Box. In Cape Breton, the boxes are available at Island Chiropratic and Family Wellness’ two locations in Sydney and Inverness.
Madison Keating was the first Cape Breton newborn to get her very own Baby Box. The four-week-old took to the sleeping box immediately after being placed in it by dad Matt Keating and mom Theresa O’Brien, who has been under the care of local chiropractor and Baby Box distributor Dr. Jen Maher.