Parents across Wexford can now collect their free Baby Box from Fehily's Pharmacy in Wexford town.
Launched by Wexford General Hospital in April last year, the aim of the Baby Box programme is to encourage early engagement with maternity services and access to care for all pregnant women. By working with local services such as Fehily's Pharmacy the programme sets to unite the whole community, enabling parents and communities to better engage to offer every child a safe and supported start in life.
In order to receive a free Baby Box, expecting parents will need to complete the Wexford parenting course on www.babyboxuniversity.com, a comprehensive maternal and childcare education platform. Upon completion, they will receive a certificate that can be redeemed in Fehily's Pharmacy for their free Baby Box.
The Baby Box tradition, which originates from Finland, in conjunction with education initiatives has contributed to a reduction in infant mortality rate in the country from 65 infant deaths per 1,000 births in 1938 to 2.26 per 1,000 births in 2015.
The Baby Boxes, which are made from durable cardboard and come with a firm foam mattress, waterproof mattress cover and a cotton sheet, are traditionally used as a baby's bed for the first months of their life, replacing the need for a traditional Moses basket or cot.
Derek Fehily of Fehily's Pharmacy said: 'We are pleased to become the Wexford distributor for the Baby Box, which will undoubtedly prove to be an essential tool for families. As a father of three toddlers, I can appreciate how invaluable a reference tool like the www.babyboxuniversity.com will be to young parents in the first weeks and months of parenthood.'
Allison Bone of the Special Care Baby Unit at Wexford General Hospital said: 'We are delighted to have Fehily's come on board with The Baby Box programme. To have a distributor so close to the hospital ensures the programme remains accessible to all mums and dads to be. We have been delighted with the response to date with over 850 families accessing our education programme.'
Baby Boxes are available for free collection from Fehily's Pharmacy, 28 South Main St.