A program developed in Finland is providing new mothers in the Cowichan Valley and the west coast of the Island with a free baby bed through the local health unit of Island Health.

Baby bed program could reduce infant mortality

Program developed in Finland provided to new mothers in Cowichan Valley by Island Health

A baby bed, which was developed in Finland and reduces incidences of infant mortality, is being provided to new mothers in the Cowichan Valley and on the West Coast of Vancouver Island Vancouver Island Health said Aug. 24.

First introduced in Finland more than 70 years ago, baby beds are self-contained sleeping containers with solid walls, a firm mattress and fitted sheet, allowing infants to sleep safely and connect their parents to the supports they may need as new parents.

“The best choice for infants is to sleep on their backs in a tobacco-free environment, on a harder surface, in a space clear of blankets, pillows or other items like stuffed toys,” says Dr. Charmaine Enns, a Medical Health Officer at Island Health.

Baby beds have drastically lowered Finland’s infant mortality rate – now one of the lowest in the world at 1.8 per 1,000 babies as compared to Canada (3.0 per 1,000) and Vancouver Island (3.9 per 1,000).

“We all want to avoid a tragic event involving infants,” Dr. Enns said.

“Baby beds give infants clear breathing passages, putting them in the best position to get a safe and healthy sleep.”

According to the Coroners Service, infant deaths due to unsafe sleep practices are on the rise in B.C.

Over the past three years, there have been, on average, 18 sleep-related deaths per year. In the first four months of 2016, a total 15 babies have died.

Almost all were younger than six months of age.

Today, all new and expecting parents in Port Alberni and the West Coast communities including Tofino and Ucluelet are eligible to pick up a free baby bed at their local health unit. The baby beds are also being provided to new parents in the Cowichan Valley.

VIHA says it is working toward and Island-wide program, although that will depend on funding. The baby beds also include supplies for mom and babe: a digital thermometer, lanolin nipple cream, washcloths and diapers, among other items.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

B.C. Supreme Court dismisses claim against Island Corridor Foundation

Snaw-Naw-As (Nanoose) First Nation was seeking return of reserve land as railway sits unused

What’s in a name? Ladysmith’s historical streets re-examined

Several streets in downtown Ladysmith are named after generals that served in the Boer War

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Retired Ladysmith master mariner publishes memoir of a life at sea

John Anderson’s book: Of Times and Tides is a vivid memoir of decades in the shipping industry

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Lower Mainland teacher facing child pornography charges

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

Man who rammed gate near Trudeau residence with truck faces multiple charges

The man, who police have not yet officially identified, will be charged with multiple offences

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

Kelowna RCMP commander calls for more nurses during wellness checks after complaint

Southeast District Commander wants to increase Police and Crisis Team program

‘Tarantula moth’ spotted in broad daylight on Vancouver Island

Polyphemus moths are one of the largest insects in B.C.

B.C. First Nations vow to keep fighting after Trans Mountain pipeline appeal denied

Squamish Nation, Tsleil-Waututh Nation and Coldwater Indian Band made the application

‘Queue jumpers’ not welcome in B.C. as COVID-19 U.S. cases rise: Horgan

Premier Horgan said he’s heard concerns that Americans have stopped at Vancouver hotels instead of heading to their destination

Most Read