From Fin­land with love

Baby Boxes prov­ing pop­u­lar in Cape Bre­ton

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON - BY CAPE BRE­TON POST STAFF news@cb­post.com

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.

DAVID JALA/CAPE BRE­TON POST

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.

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