Alabama Governor Robert Bentley Initiates Statewide Baby Box Program to Provide a Safe and Supported Start in Life for Every Child

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All Expecting and New Mothers Who Complete Baby Box University’s Online Education Program in Alabama Will Get a Free Baby Box

MONTGOMERY, AL: March 27, 2017 -- Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and The Baby Box Co., the company behind the global integrated program Baby Box University to improve family healthcare outcomes and reduce Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome (SUIDS), today announced that Alabama will launch a statewide program where all expecting and new parents can receive a free Baby Box by completing online parenting education. In 2017, the program will distribute up to 60,000 Baby Boxes, ensuring that every expecting family in Alabama has access to this free resource regardless of socioeconomic background. 

According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, in 2015 there were 8.3 infant deaths per 1,000 births in Alabama. Although this places Alabama above average on a national scale, there is a large discrepancy between the health care outcomes of African American and Caucasian babies. Approximately one third of the 59,651 babies born in Alabama last year were born to African-American mothers, with the infant mortality rate for African American babies at 15.3 per 1,000 live births, while it was 5.2 for Caucasians, representing a significant racial disparity statewide.

To combat infant mortality in Alabama and, in an effort to democratize access to quality perinatal education and baby supplies, Governor Bentley in is launching a universal safe sleep program in partnership with The Baby Box Co., Alabama Rural Development Office, Alabama Department of Public Health and numerous network partners.

“The Baby Box program is essential to establishing a strong understanding of proper infant care during their most vulnerable time in life,” Governor Bentley said. “This statewide program encourages new and expecting parents, of all socioeconomic backgrounds, to take advantage of this free educational program, which can be the difference between life and death. We ultimately want to reduce the infant mortality rate in Alabama and assist families in raising happy, healthy babies.”

The Baby Boxes, which are made from a durable cardboard, can be used as a baby’s bed for the first months of life. While parents appreciate the Baby Boxes and quality care products included, it is the educational component and closer communication with local healthcare providers that is at the center of the Baby Box University distribution model. Families will be required to view their community’s online curriculum related to prenatal health, breastfeeding, safe sleep practices and newborn care before receiving a free Baby Box. In this way, the Baby Box University program model pays its ultimate homage to the Finnish tradition, which is committed not just to universal product distribution, but to supporting families with access to healthcare and education. 

“We are excited to be one of the first states to offer this program statewide to provide families with the tools and education to give their babies a healthy start in life,” said Ron Sparks, Director of Alabama Rural Development Office. “The ultimate goal of the program is to save babies’ lives.”

Hospitals and Nonprofits to Hold Launch Events Across Alabama to Give Away First Baby Boxes

The Alabama Rural Development Office and the Alabama Chapter of American Association of Pediatrics helped develop the Baby Box University syllabus for Alabama parents and are hosting a special Baby Box launch event today, March 29 at 10:00 a.m. in the Old House Chambers of the Alabama State Capitol building at 600 Dexter Ave. Montgomery, Alabama 36130 (parking located along the steps leading up to the building). 

“We applaud the Governor and the collaborating agencies that are making the Baby Box Initiative a reality,” said Dr. Tom Miller, Alabama State Health Officer. “There is much work to be done to address the ongoing challenge of infant mortality here in the state. This initiative will assist in addressing the challenge by providing education to parents from medical providers that practice within our state.” 

How Alabama New Parents Can Get Their Free Baby Box 

It takes only 3 easy steps for Alabama’s expecting and new parents to get their free Baby Box:

  1. Register for free online at babyboxuniversity.com as an Alabama resident. Be sure to include your correct contact information, including mailing address.
  2. Watch the 10-15 minute Alabama syllabus at babyboxuniversity.com. After taking a short quiz, you will receive a certificate of completion and be able to select local pick-up or direct delivery of your Baby Box.
  3. If you select direct delivery, your Baby Box will ship to the address you provided when you registered on Baby Box University. If you select local pick up, bring your Baby Box University certificate to the closest participating distribution site to collect your Baby Box.

“I’m so proud to share the Baby Box University program with expecting and new parents in Alabama,” said Jennifer Clary, the CEO of The Baby Box Co., which is supplying Alabama with the Baby Boxes and Baby Box University memberships. “Every parent has a right to the necessary tools to care for their infant and every child deserves a safe and supported start in life. Alabama’s leadership is demonstrating a commitment to making basic child-care resources and education universally accessible to families statewide. It’s an honor to help them realize this incredible vision.” 

The brands included in the Baby Boxes are also committed to the program’s education mission, with every product featuring a scientifically proven baby brain-boosting activity parents can do while using the item.

All expecting parents living in Alabama are eligible to receive a Baby Box which includes newborn essentials such as Pampers Swaddlers diapers, Pampers baby wipes, Vroom activity cards from the Bezos Family Foundation, Lansinoh breast pads and nipple cream for breastfeeding mothers, onesie, waterproof tote bag and more.

The Baby Box Movement

The use of Baby Boxes has been credited with helping Finland achieve one of the world’s lowest infant mortality rates. The initiative, which enables every expecting woman in the country to claim a free Baby Box once she receives prenatal care and parenting information from a healthcare professional, is credited with helping to decrease Finland’s infant mortality rate from 65 deaths for each 1,000 children born in 1938 to 1.3 deaths per 1,000 births in 2013, according to the World Health Organization. 

The success of the Finnish Baby Box intervention inspired the founders of The Baby Box Co. to adapt this tradition with enhanced multimedia parenting curricula through Baby Box University to the benefit of nonprofits, hospitals, government institutions and individual families worldwide. The Baby Box University program’s exponential growth has solidified the model as an impactful safe sleep and parenting education intervention for millennials.

About The Baby Box Co.

Entrepreneurs Michelle Vick and Jennifer Clary founded The Baby Box Co. to offer a safe sleep environment to babies everywhere. The Baby Box Co. is an innovative, integrated program to support parents and improve maternal and infant healthcare outcomes globally. The Baby Box Co. partners with hospitals, government agencies and nonprofit organizations to provide Baby Boxes, quality products, resources and ongoing education to families on a large scale. Baby Boxes are also available direct to consumer either as a standalone item or filled with new baby essentials. Serving families in 52 countries, The Baby Box Co. has offices in USA, UK, Canada, and Singapore. For more information or to purchase a Baby Box, please visit www.babyboxco.com and www.babyboxuniversity.com.

Media Contact:  stacy@thebabyboxco.com, 310.740.6630

Partnerships Contact: partners@thebabyboxco.com

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