The French “baby box” distributed to the first mothers

PARENTHOOD – The French “Babybox” is launched. After all, it’s about “Welcome to Parenthood” bags, which have been distributed to new parents in maternity wards since this Monday, March 7th. Adrien Taquet, the Secretary of State for Children, traveled to Roubaix to visit the factory where they are made.

This week, nine birth centers such as those of Arras, Le Havre, Cambrai, Mende in Lozère or Saint-Joseph in Paris will give the famous bag to parents preparing to leave the maternity ward with their baby. .

as The HuffPost As it became known last October, this version of the “baby box” or “baby box”, if indeed it was inspired by the Finnish model created in 1938, differs in the shape of the container: it is therefore not a box, but a shoulder bag . The reason given: the debates about the box and the unexpected infant death.

“Because some health experts believe that this poses risks in terms of cot death, we abandoned the idea,” the ministry told us at the time.

Sleeping bag, soap, bib, album and moisturizer

Inside, parents will find a sleeping bag, natural soap, bib, youth album and moisturizer. This last product, according to the ministry, was “added specifically for the child’s mother, so she can tell herself that she needs to take care of herself”.

A formulation that had provoked criticism from associations working for feminist parenting, which saw it as a new challenge to mothers who already bear a tenfold psychological burden at the birth of a child.

According to the ministry, the items in the bag “are manufactured and transported in France by companies that employ workers with disabilities or in integration”, with the exception of the youth album. Four titles from four different publishers were selected to be placed in the bags.

Each item is designed to convey a public health message. Such as the sleeping bag or sleeping bag: “The message is that sleeping in a sleeping bag is less risky for the baby than with something that might cover their face. And that you have to put him on his back,” summarizes the service.

For Adrien Taquet’s team, this is the “primary medium for communicating public health messages in the first 1000 days”. The goal is to allow professionals to advise parents about these objects before they return home with their child.

experimental phase

The bag is distributed in maternity wards and not in the parents’ home as in Finland. It will be used successively, starting from March to August 2022 with priority areas, namely municipalities with a political district or those located in rural revitalization areas. This corresponds to 353 mothers or 180,000 births.

If the experiment is conclusive, it will be extended to all maternity wards in France in June. The evaluation of the device is carried out by an external expert and takes into account the “service provided” for the parents, their impressions, the use and the interest of the bag for the parents. Expert opinions are also heard.

See also on The HuffPost: During the war in Ukraine, how to talk to children about the conflict

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