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Babies Need Boxes joins forces with Carlton County to get maternity packages to mothers in need

The Babies Need Boxes program serving the Duluth area recently delivered 10 baby boxes to their newest partner, Carlton County Public Health and Human Services. This partnership provides mothers-to-be in Carlton County with a baby box fitted with a mattress for safe sleeping and newborn supplies such as diapers, wipes, onesies, hygiene supplies, and more.

Babies Need Boxes is an innovative program that follows the Finnish tradition of equipping moms with tools needed for a successful transition to motherhood as well as affecting the goal of decreasing infant mortality.

Some of the factors that have an impact on birth outcomes and the health of infants, including Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), are smoking during pregnancy, preterm and low birth weight babies. The smoking rate among pregnant women in Carlton County is 20.8, which is higher than the state of Minnesota rate of 9.7, according to the 2015 MN County Health Tables (data source: www.health.state.mn.us/divs/chs/countytables). Carlton County also has higher that the state of Minnesota percentages of preterm babies and low birth weight babies. These factors have an impact on pregnancy outcomes and the health of infants, including SIDS. SIDS is also strongly connected to unsafe sleep arrangements. Babies Need Boxes seeks to change this by partnering with established organizations to provide mothers in Minnesota with a maternity package that offers a safe sleep space, newborn essentials, and perinatal education support to aid in the first few months of raising a newborn.

Carlton County Public Health nurses have provided home visits to pregnant women, new moms and infants the past 90 years. The Carlton County Parent Child Health Nurses partner with parents to offer support, education, and information about many other resources within our county during this critical time.

So far in 2016, Babies Need Boxes Duluth has given out more than 40 boxes to local organizations that work with families in need. They hope to get out at least 100 boxes to families in need by the end of 2016 and are excited about their new partnership with Carlton County.

The Duluth-area community has been a major support of donations to aid with the costs associated with the baby boxes. If you are interested in learning more about or donating to this organization, visit www.babiesneedboxes.org or contact Amanda Lindquist, director of Duluth operations, at Amanda@babiesneeboxes.org.

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