My family back in the U.K. can hardly believe it (especially the household-chores part); there, as I understand it, the mother tends to stay in hospital a big longer (typically for a few days), but once you're home, you're on your own...
None of this would have happened with midwife visits at home (like we had in Germany for the second child). They check on the mother as well as the baby.
Mothers are frequently discharged from hospital the same day, or the following day. My wife had some (relatively minor) complications and thus had a 2 day stay. This is longer than average. Even mothers who had C-sections (i.e. major abdominal surgery) seem to stay <= 3 days, unless there's bigger complications.
Once home, the mother's 'midwife' will make home visits 2-4 times in the first week before 'passing' the care onto a 'health visitor'. They will also visit at home (1-2 times a week) for the next few weeks, before this becomes an at-clinic care.
There's also 'infant feeding nurses' (i.e. breastfeeding support) as needed, although this one does vary per area.
So it's no-where near the Netherlands level of care (having someone do the chores those first few weeks would have been very useful!), but it is definitely not the case that "you're on your own" after leaving hospital after a multi-day stay.
I can comment for Scotland: it's almost exactly the same. The territorial boards greatly prefer midwife-lead care, so the only times we saw a docter were: months before delivery, saw the GP once to confirm the pregnancy test results; a pediatrician a few hours after delivery to count fingers and toes. Everything else was midwives, and handing over to the health visitors 2 weeks after delivery.
Many babies are born at home.
Is it true in the U.S. that the baby doesn't sleep next to the mother in hospital? I've seen these warehouses full of babies on TV shows, like in this photo:
But it always looks a bit distopian to me.
uhmmm... Won't you rather wish they were not empty? I suppose it all depends on the manner of the emptying.
You don't tempt fate like that!
Depending on where you live (i.e. when it is warm), the peak month changes.
I should add that, from what I've heard, same day discharges is much more common for the second (/third/etc) child compared to having a first.
Mostly, I believe, driven by the fear of infection.
Our kraamzorg nurse even cooked us meals! She also taught us a lot of techniques on how to get the infant to sleep. My wife looks back very fondly to the first post-natal week and the kraamzorg was a big reason. Having someone nearby who's been there before is a big stress relief for first-time parents who are full of questions and concerns that first week.
The home visits are regular and scheduled, breatfeeding advice was offered in hospital, a breastfeeding support clinic is run for free in our local hospital once a week and on other days in local community centres. Two of our children have been identifed as tongue-tied by midwives in hospital. The midwives in hospital provided formula for the most recent baby when my wife was having trouble feeding.
Overall, we've felt very supported by the NHS. I suspect the difference is partly timing, every team contains good staff and bad staff. It probably differs region to region as well, I'm in Buckinghamshire.
Finally, sorry to hear about your experience of tongue tie. This is also mentioned in link , so it's definitely not something that the 'NHS doesn't believe in'.
I do agree that the health visitors probably end up being more hassle and causing more stress than they're worth. By the time of our third kid we just smiled, nodded and lied our way through every interaction until they went away.
Different trusts in the NHS have wildly differing support, policies, physio, mobile apps, leaflets and documentation, etc etc. It makes the "N" in NHS a bit odd, and surely is tremendously inefficient!
(Having said that, and having recently had a baby the NHS and their staff have all been amazing!)
Fortunately for us, when having our first, we knew about it and in Southampton UK they are one of the better hospitals who check for it and can get it sorted at one of their breast feeding clinics.
For our two (both born in Amsterdam) we were out of the hospital 3-4 hours after birth in both cases (both induced, and with epidural). They do the bare minimal to make sure you're not actively bleeding (and stitching), measure the baby and then you're out.
When you get home the kraamzorg is there waiting for you. I think it's a much better system. You don't need hospital services (surgery, anesthesia etc.) anymore. Why would you want to stay in a hospital?
The tradition is then for the mother to stay at her parents house for a month to get help from grandma when she's learning the ropes (my wife lasted a week).
I couldn't imagine getting kicked out the same day. What a load of work! Especially if the father is expected to go straight back to work (as another comment said was typical before this year)
Wasn't Netherlands birth mortality rate actually higher when compared to neighbor countries because of the tradition of giving birth at home (which is not dangerous in itself but it means that valuable time is lost in the case the mother has to go to a hospital and the doctors there have to first sync up with the pre-natal nurse)?
Comparing home and hospital birth can be a difficult problem. Policy in The Netherlands dictates that women who are estimated to have a higher risk of complications must give birth at a hospital. This means that the hospital group's risk profile is inherently different, which is a factor that is difficult to compensate for. It also seems that lower educated women gain more safety from hospital birth, although the exact reasons are unclear.
Overall the question is not at all settled at the moment. The research community is also extremely hesitant to communicate with the media out of fear of causing another scare like what happened after the 2010 study. Fact is that home birth is becoming increasingly more rare, down 10 percentage points over the last 10 years.
Some ethnic groups in The Netherlands have 2x higher infant mortality after birth than others, people are older when they're having kids, and having twins (or more) is now 2x as common as in the 1950s due to the availability of fertility treatment.
I wonder how up-to-date the results of that older paper are, the other ones discussed here seem to address much narrower questions.
I certainly get the impression that giving birth at home is quite 'trendy' here, but my wife and I decided that there was no way that we were going to opt for that. My wife would much rather give birth in a building full of experts and specialised equipment than in the "relaxed, familiar atmosphere" of home.
A more recent trend is that of the 'geboortehuizen' (birth houses), which are literally what the name says: special places just for giving birth. Instead of the clinical atmosphere, it is more like a home but advanced medical care is close-by, as most of them are affiliated with the hospitals. It's seen as a good balance/compromise between the risks of giving birth at home, while still having a more quiet, 'gezellige' atmosphere.
Disclaimer: my wife gave birth at home (but not in Netherlands)
- The populations studied were preselected to be low risk, because "Dutch guidelines prescribe a hospital delivery with their midwife-led delivery (no choice of planned home birth)" to women with medium risk levels. So we're not talking home vs. hospital for any women, just for those where the doctors say everything is double-plus super fine with the mother and the baby. The study did adjust for the fact that "either due to self-selection or due to the midwife’s proposal, the healthiest and most affluent women are more likely to undertake a home birth".
- From the conclusion, "the benefit of substantially fewer interventions in the planned home group seems to be counterbalanced by substantially increased mortality if intervention occurs".
So what the study says is generally, if you and your doctors are double-plus sure you're low-risk, then you can go for either home or hospital birth; but if an intervention turns out to be needed, you're in big trouble.
Lastly, you have actually read what I have posted and this is awesome. You can find more scientific sources about positive benefits of home birth. Lastly, I'm not saying that you should do it. My problem is that home births are semi-legal in my country ;-) Shortsighted comment was written by person from my country :-(
"Stillbirth rates never exceed 70 per 1,000 total births." (source https://www.cairn-int.info/article-E_POPU_804_0683--late-fet...)
The difference between pregnancy and aging is that the former is desirable, the latter is something to get rid of.
As I have learned a few months ago when our midwife came by daily the first 2 weeks after our baby was born (in Germany, healthcare insurance will pay for daily midwife visits the first 10 days after you are out of the hospital, and for additional 16 times in the first 6 weeks) there are exactly 4 male midwifes in Germany, which is roughly 0.017%.
I get it, however. Our midwife had 2 children of her own, and it is extremely comfortable to know that the midwife already went through all of that herself. There are some things that cannot be taught, and giving birth is definitely one of them.
> Here in the Netherlands, they tend to kick the mother out of hospital as soon as feasible after the birth (typically after one night, or even on the same day)
My wife stayed in the hospital for 4 nights (she was definitely not able to go home sooner) and it was a very pleasant experience. She basically stayed in her bed undisturbed with the baby and if she needed anything (including some time alone) the nurses where there. We were very pleasantly surprised as we both heard horror stories from our own parents who gave birth in the late 80ies (in Germany and Switzerland) when it was uncommon to put the baby in the same room as the mother. Apparently, breast feeding was often supervised in the hospital back then and the baby was weighted before and after to check the amount of milk it drank.
PS: We were extremely grateful that we had the midwife available 24/7 the first weeks. There is just so much going on, both with the child and the mother's body. We had many panic moments where we called our midwife, and she usually came by the same day or calmed us down via phone. However, I don't think a service like that is absolutely necessary if you have family support and if the child is healthy. As we later found out, almost everything we asked the midwife or were concerned about could've been answered by our own parents. In retrospect, we were absolutely clueless.
Yes but the baby can come anytime within a period of about a five weeks and be within the "normal" period. You need an understanding employer to take two weeks holiday "sometime in the next 5 weeks".
It's a very important period where you learn how to take care of the new baby, bond with it, and need to take care of your wife who quite likely is in no condition to do anything other than recover.
(I'm aware that people with very low incomes and no paid holidays at all, may not be able to afford that. But that situation should be illegal in any modern, wealthy country. I guess the answer to the question above may indeed be "yes" in some cases.)
Never being able to take a day off for anything at all is incredibly harmful. People used to fight for these rights. What happened?
Everybody got convinced that a) those rights will be used by those people who obviously don't deserve it and b) those rights will make life harder for them when they become billionaire business owners.
As for what happened, the US isn't highly unionized outside certain regions and trades. Everybody else has next to zero legal protection. White collar workers typically get some leave simply by virtue of having skills that are more in-demand. And the labor movement largely allowed conservative, anti-labor factions to cast them as evil socialists. In the US, "liberal" has long been a bad word.
This is not accurate. If the employer falls under FMLA, then dad gets 12 weeks unpaid leave as just like mom does.
In some states there is paid family leave for both mom and dad. I've used it twice.
Also correct that some states have additional leave requirements. 12 of the 50 have done nothing (only FMLA applies). 14 have lowered the FMLA business size from 50 to something smaller. 7 have adopted more generous maternal leave policies, though most only offer 50% pay over a short period of time.
Only 4 states offer paid paternity leave.
Regardless, the US is the only OECD member that does not require paid maternity leave.
Do not agree. Netherlands has remarkably poor statistics when accounting for total incidents and outcome from the months before and after births. They have more than double the shit rate compared to other high quality healthcare western European countries. Anecdotally I've heard this attributed to the custom of having close to 30%(?) of births done at home, which is an outlier and increases risks of poor outcome when complications arise.
But parent's notes on assistance post natal is probably correct and a very good thing.
Here in the US, when we had our twins, we knew that we would need a similar service - we hired a night nanny (note: just for nights, not daytime). Price was high, but our firstborn was difficult we knew we were out of our depth with upcoming twins (not to mention actually taking care of the older kid).
The night nanny did not monitor medical though.
Family is a great ideal, but often grandma doesn't remember how to take care the newborn, or help the mom.
That said we had the same midwife for both our children and she was amazing. Like family.
Didn't do chores for us though :-)
It's got everything a totally unprepared family would need to look after the baby for the first few days. Even as a not-completely-disorganised family, it was nice to have. And giving it to everyone is probably cheaper than trying to work out for which parents that level of support is necessary ahead of time. Not least because families who need the support are probably the least able to find it.
I'm very happy that my tax money is spent on preventative efforts, rather than relying on fixing things up after they've become critical.
For our firstborn, we (in Michigan, US) used a county-provided program that included a quick home visit and a small welcome kit (nothing as elaborate as described in this article). While it was not presented as being only intended for impoverished/unprepared families, we couldn't help but feeling that we weren't their target audience, given our income level and family support.
All too often, US social programs are paternalistic "help the needy" regimes, often with intentional stigma (to supposedly cut costs through reduced utilization). IMHO, this is harmful for everyone.
It's one reason so many new social safety net programs are being suggested as variants of Universal X now, they're much less likely to get cut because everyone gets it and it's harder to do the whole 'welfare queen' style racial coding if the program goes to everyone.
This has been criticized numerous times, but every time it turns out that it's just cheaper to pay out the money to everyone, than to have some sort of needs-based evaluation machinery that you have to staff with people who have to make judgements, pisses people off, and then the whole system can be gamed anyway.
It's funny. When you suggest that everyone gets a tax cut, people whinge about the rich, the people needing it the least, getting a tax cut, yet it never seems to stop tax cuts to the wealthy. The rationale most often trotted out for this is that it will 'trickle down' because the people who need it the least will spend more which will fuel the economy. (I'm not commenting on whether trickle down works, just that it's the rationale most commonly deployed.)
So why don't people use this line of reasoning when it comes to universal basic income, money given to parents of children, etc? For the people who need it most, it can help them succeed. For the people who need it least, it can fuel sending their kid to college or pay for a family vacation which also stimulates the economy.
They help you with a range of things, one is to setup a sleeping setting where there is minimal risk of the baby dying. Not too warm, always sleep on their backs, have room to move stuff like that.
As usual Finland is just better at Scandinavia’ning than the rest of us. Good job Finland!
That led her having to stay completely laid down, and to several nurses literally hopping on top of her and pushing our baby into life using their elbows like it's 1900 again.
Then, nobody helped her into start feeding our baby and while the baby was loosing more and more weight day by day, once at home we had to call a private obstetrician and I BEGGED HER ON THE PHONE to come save my baby and my wife.
She came over to our house, showed us what to do and how to do it, and almost two years later my baby is now a giant just like me.
We both automatically get two weeks off work as a birth leave and option to have a "jordmor", what you would call a midwife in English, visit and help if needed. Then we had ten months of parental leave combined, I had four months and my wife had six.
One thing foreigners freak out over is that during the day we have the babies sleep outside in the strollers in winter. They're usually wrapped in wool materials and are very warm. Is this common elsewhere in Scandinavia? They sleep very well out in the cold :)
Same in Sweden, babies are left outside while the parents sit in a coffee shop and kindergartens have a line of baby strollers outside for the young ones to sleep in.
Also, my mother was shocked when we went to a pharmacy to 'buy' some stuff for newborn and my partner, and we didn't pay anything at all. I think you can fully appreciate all that only if you were raised elsewhere, otherwise you just take it for granted.
It does have to be said that the rest of the talk/instruction/help was very focussed upon the mother (as you'd expect). I remember that all the meals we were provided with had labels:
* The meals for the mother had her full-name on them.
* The meals for me just said "father".
The answer is: you eventually figure it out after lots of panicking :P
Probably depends on the hospital.
As for the sleeping box, we just put our son on our bed where he slept happily for the first year.
(We couldn't find one either.)
Where I live, there has been a massive boost in population because of rapid expansion of industries here. Unfortunately, the other services are unable to keep up.
All the above are free and provided by the hospital. It helps that we are going to the hospital with the most births in the US.
No, just no. If you have insurance, there will be copays, and they can vary from trivial to significant.
If you don't have insurance, enjoy the massive debt.
>Insurance companies can't refuse to cover treatment for your pre-existing condition or charge you more.
That's a shortest complete rebuttal to the idea that "nothing is actually free" I've seen so far, thanks!
> In English usage, Scandinavia also sometimes refers to the Scandinavian Peninsula, or to the broader region including Finland and Iceland, which is always known locally as the Nordic countries.
https://www.dictionary.com/browse/scandinavia?s=t "and sometimes Finland, Island, and the Faeroe Islands".
https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Scandinavia "Note: Some people also consider Iceland, the Faeroe Islands, and Finland to be part of Scandinavia"
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1187923.History_Of_Scand... - "History Of Scandinavia: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, And Iceland"
https://www.worldcat.org/title/live-work-in-scandinavia-denm... - "Live & work in Scandinavia : Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden"
https://shop.lonelyplanet.com/products/discover-scandinavia-... - "Discover Scandinavia" travel guide "Coverage Includes: Reykjavik, Southeastern Iceland, the Blue Lagoon and the Golden Circle, Oslo, Norway’s Fjords, Stockholm, Gothenburg, Copenhagen, Tallinn, Estonia, Helsinki, Lakeland (Finland), the Far North and the Arctic Circle, and more"
To me, until now, Denmark was not in Scandinavia.
261 comments in 2013 https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=5817728
262 comments in 2016 https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12547353
Let's see if this time it gets 263 comments.
Even now I recognize other children wearing the same clothes that we received - though our child is 2.5 now the items have obviously been passed along to neighbours and new siblings.
That said, I think articles like this contribute to science illiteracy and innumeracy.
A layman could easily come to the conclusion that the baby box caused the drop in infant mortality after reading this article, but infant mortality has been dropping everywhere over the the same time period, regardless of policy.
While the article does briefly mention the Finnish government's broader support for new families, like the free health checks early in pregnancy that is actually incentivized by the box, it doesn't include the overarching worldwide, postwar technological and economic trends that have been driving infant mortality down everywhere.
The whole piece reads like a very literal endorsement of the nanny state, rather than a celebration of human flourishing that it could have been if written in the proper context of broader trends.
Edit: Almost all the replies (and I suspect the downvotes) to my comment are making my point. I wasn't disparaging the box or Finnland's broader policies to combat infant mortality. I'm disparaging the article's failure to paint Finnland's progress in the context of a wider trend of lowering infant mortality AND Finnland's broader efforts to do so. That failure leads to overly simplistic conclusions that contribute to scientific illiteracy and innumeracy, exactly like the conclusions below.
Does anyone believe Finnland could provide these services without the broader technological and economic progress?
2013 (when the article was written):
How can the tiny country of Finland be so much better at this than the US? It's because of what they talk about in the article, i.e., a government actually caring for its citizens (read, "welfare state").
I wouldn't call wmeredith's comment an "attack", it's a civilly written challenge.
That aside. It may be true that baby boxes in and of themselves aren't directly responsible for the reduction of child mortality rates (say from sudden cot death); there doesn't seem to have been any research into the long term benefits of the "box" itself. But it's the holistic approach to ensuring kids get a good start in life and the box, the contents etc is one small part of that.
Just because Finland introduced boxes and other countries didn't does not mean that the Finland's contribution to the overall decrease to infant mortality was not due to boxes.
Also, for gp comment -- nanny is a odd way to spell welfare.
You're arguing against a straw man. The article implies that the boxes are driving the decrease in infant mortality. The OP points out that this is ignoring the global decrease in infant mortality. The OP did not assert that the boxes made no contribution to the decrease in infant mortality.
> Also, for gp comment -- nanny is a odd way to spell welfare.
I genuinely don't understand your point. "Nanny state" and "welfare state" are synonymous, at least in the U.S.
I'd use 'nanny state' more to refer to indirect effects. Stuff like the sugar tax, smoking packaging, cameras etc - the sort of 'nanny knows best' thing.
Benefit payments and taxes usually don't come under the banner.
The term "nanny state" typically refers to legislation that aims to protect people from their own worst impulses - laws that ban the sale of large-sized soft drinks, sin taxes on cigarettes and alcohol, and giving tickets to drivers who don't wear a seat belt would all be examples of the "nanny state". In contrast, the "welfare state" refers to redistributive social programs that aim to mitigate the effects of capitalism on vulnerable populations (i.e. Social Security, Medicare, Unemployment Insurance, etc. ).
- 6.0 million children lived in food-insecure households in which children, along with adults, were food insecure.
- 540,000 children (0.7 percent of the Nation's children) lived in households in which one or more child(sic) experienced very low food security.
According to the CDC
- 1.6% of women received no [prenatel] care at all.
- 15.0% of women received inadequate prenatal care.
You may want to use a non-US definition of "nanny state" ...
That is a statistic that is very difficult to change. A certain percentage of women will simply not present, not request any help. Some honestly do not realize they are pregnant. Other live in denial. And, particularly in the US, there are some religious communities that actively avoid the medical system. So even with total free coverage of all mothers, there will always be a 1% who first seek a doctor only once contractions start.
These food-insecure households obtained enough food to avoid substantially disrupting their eating patterns or reducing food intake by using a variety of coping strategies, such as eating less varied diets, participating in Federal food assistance programs, or getting emergency food from community food pantries.
Since you seemed to have these ready, do you have these same numbers but for people without access to any (federal / state/ local) food assistance programs?
Not at the ready, I found those links in a couple of minutes buy searching for "US children food insecurity" and "US prenatal care". I remembered reading a study that the increase in US infant mortality was related to lack of prenatal care and food insecurity so I just googled those.
You might also want to remember that all US agencies use the broadest statistics that justify their budget and size when you cite the US Dept of Agriculture and the CDC.
FTFY, it's remarkably expensive, low touch, and uninformed vs other countries.
The US's medical and food programs focus exclusively on money rather than quality of care or informing parents. We simply give out prepaid 'credit' cards and medical cards, there is little to ensure that they are used correctly or in a healthy manner. We don't do much to ensure that kids actually see doctors, we don't do much to ensure quality of food choices, cooking, or health, the school lunch programs are littered with terrible nutrition and only covers lunch and sometimes breakfast.
The most telling thing about America is that we honest to goodness keep infant formula in grocery stores...in security cases.
WIC programs specifically include X amount of baby formula as part of the program. Especially in low-income areas (and increasingly higher level income areas) formula has become a form of currency and an easy way to launder drug money.
The amazing part is the inefficiency of the WIC program made the formula black market possible.
Not in any store I have ever shopped in.
I suspect it's primarily in low-income areas.
Likewise, despite what Stats 101 would tell you, we don’t actually run a ton of placebo-controlled clinical trials. Instead, the new thing (a baby box) gets compared against the current standard.
I think that 'comforting program' is what might be called a sense of community. And the wisdom of investing in a future. Something which, in many so-called 'advanced' countries, has been under attack (by ignorance or deliberation) for generations.
In order to receive it, the mother needs to sign up for a health check (provide by the public health care system) and I believe you are supposed to do that before the 5th month of pregnancy.
This gives the opportunity to detect potential problems early on, offer guidance if there's reason to suspect substance abuse and so on.
This is a case of a state providing exactly the sort of support to their citizens we could do with far more of.
Baseline education of infant care is difficult for low income families. There's just too much to deal with.
A cardboard box will appear crude to many, especially those of higher income, but the cardboard box removes a lot of the guess work about what's allowed in while sleeping - which is essentially nothing.
Anyone who's had an infant before - there's too much conflicting information and it's downright scary because it's difficult to know what's right/wrong. I love this establishes a clear baseline.
I kept flipping my daughter over until I spent some time googling it.
The boxes (qnitas) were left to rot in a warehouse. Trully fascist.
This was later found to be without basis and the goverment have been ordered to restart the program, without effect.
 https://www.clarin.com/politica/paso-paso-fraude-licitacion-... (in spanish)
 https://www.lanacion.com.ar/politica/plan-qunita-inseguros-c... (in spanish)
I think that most rational people would agree the already-existing baskets should be distributed instead of being left to rot, so the president deciding against that in order to strengthen his position could be seen as tending towards autocracy or dictatorship.
It was approximately 100% of my son's wardrobe for the first several months, and we actually did have him sleep in it for a couple weeks early-on, putting the box on a (large, well-supported) stack of books next to our bed before we moved him into his own quarters. The clothing was unique (in the US) and attractive in a very Scandinavian sort of way, and held up really well. We've passed most of it on to other families, and each piece has probably been used by three or four different kids at this point.
I did a significant write-up on it here: https://www.care.com/c/stories/580/a-year-with-the-finnish-m...
NB: It was on Kinsights back when that existed, and Care.com's redesign kinda botched the formatting. Sorry to myself and others!
 Unless the handouts are in the form of tax breaks for big companies, in which case they are the most patriotic thing to do.
For example, having time with parents (parental leave) is a right of the child, not a luxury for the parents. In that perspective it's much harder to frame tax-financed parental leave as a handout to the parent. Without it, some children would miss out on something through no fault of their own.
Maximizing the use of paid parental leave I see as pretty much a given. I don't think many see it as the most important factor for planning a pregnancy, but I absolutely want to maximize the amount of paid leave I can take. My kids are 6 and 8 and I still do multiple weeks of parental leave per year. Typically doubling my summer holiday from 4 to 8 weeks or similar. It's a benefit I have paid for many times over. There have been suggestions though that this is an unncessarily luxury and it would be better (for children) if parents had to use the majority of the parental leave before age 3 instead. I kind of agree.
For these policies to be even remotely understandable I think the key is as I said to fundamentally see it as money spent towards children, not parents.
So, taking the maximum amount of paid leave they are allowed. How is this an issue? Do you take less pay than offered? Please explain how maximizing your benefits if wrong.
I suppose that's one way of looking at it. I see it as getting some return of investment for all the taxes I pay. During the course of one year, I pay the state back for the box many times over.
In Finland, there is an option to take an "equivalent" cash grant, but the box is likely better value (if you were going to get all that stuff anyway), because of the big batches the state orders.
I'm sure there are also some who get neither the box nor the grant, all you have to do is to not apply for it.
Baby arrived 2 months early. When we brought him home 6 weeks later, I was amused by the contrast. Going from a fancy NICU bed to a cardboard box was a big change for him. He didn’t mind and slept in it for 5 months.
From CPS professional point of view this box rocks. Absolutely a perfect thing for young mothers without the usual social network. Just if they would choose the box instead of money...
Looks like someone already has:
Didn't expect them to be $300+ though. I wonder what the government is paying for these.
To answer your comment & questions: The reason our most expensive box (The Finland Original) costs $450 is because it contains over $700 worth of stuff - at least on the shelf if you are purchasing each item individually. For a bit more insight, the bulk of that cost is the organic clothing that we include. Also, baby boxes have a lot of volume (or dimensional weight if you want to use the shipping jargon) so baby boxes are incredibly expensive to ship. Because most consumers would be shocked at the actual cost of shipping, we've factored shipping costs into the total cost of the box.
To answer your question about what the government pays for these: Finnbin does have contracts with hospitals, insurance companies, and government entities who typically purchase hundreds boxes at a time and often thousands - The average metro hospital does about 1,500 births per year. Like any other product, volume orders obviously get a price break and because baby boxes take up so much space, they also tend to receive the boxes on a pallet shipped flat - which can also lower their costs. Each government order is slightly different and thus there is no specific cost to a government entity, but they still pay in the hundreds of dollars if they are purchasing the baby box containing all of the goods.
Happy to provide additional insight if you'd like.
I was imagining you and your competitors would either obtain the boxes from the assembler/manufacturer directly or assemble close replicas. Not that you were the actual supplier.
From what I understand, the company Finnish Baby Box (based in Finland) uses the same products from the same suppliers and makes those same boxes available to consumer.
Finnbin, the company I founded, manufactures our own boxes and sources the materials for our box from US-based companies who utililze managed forestries and are certified to Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) standards, created to promote responsible forest management.
And, although the original Finnish government program was the inspiration for our product, we've tailored our product offering to the American consumer and with American brands. For example, the Finnish baby box contains a regular sheet rather than a fitted sheet. This would not adhere to the American Academy of Pediatrics safe sleep recommendations. Therefore, we include a fitted sheet custom to the waterproof mattress we provide.
Additionally, much of the clothing in the Finnish government boxes program is designed for a much colder climate than we're used to here in the US. Rather than including similar products that many people wouldn't likely use, we've replaced them with more universal clothing and products.
im guessing this is a non-starter for most Americans?
i remember seeing an editorial  about how in American Prisons ..they are charging the family of prisoners a huge fee to send their $ to the inmate..and how one mom had to choose between buying diapers or supporting her husband with prison toiletries. She said it was a very hard decision to make.
"[...] leading baby box companies sells its products as an essential gift for new parents, claiming studies have proven the link.
I asked the company if I could see these studies, but they said that studies showing positive results had not been published yet. Experts say that there are no studies showing the efficacy of baby boxes."
I don't think buying vs giving is important per se. I'm just saying that the aggregate data will likely show more benefit from people being given the boxes, as that will have more impact on people of lower means.
It is true that there are not many published studies with empirical evidence in the public domain and most of the data comes from 90 years of anecdotal evidence; however, the issue is not that baby box manufacturers are against studies, it's that there is not a lot of funding for SIDS research. We've actively reached out to research organizations to test our product, but they do not have the financial resources to do so.
That said, there have since been some published studies about the efficacy of baby boxes (here is one from Temple University: https://medicine.temple.edu/news/temple-study-shows-baby-box...). There are also some ongoing studies that I'm aware of that have yet to be published. Here are the findings from the Temple study:
5,187 dyads received baby boxes and follow up phone calls 2763 parents completed the follow-up survey Patient satisfaction with the distribution of the bassinet was high.
25% reduction in bed-sharing for all infants. Face-to-face sleep education and providing a baby box with a firm mattress and fitted sheet reduced the rate of bed-sharing by 25% in the first eight days of life.
50% reduction in bed-sharing for breastfed infants.For exclusively breastfed infants, a population at increased risk of bed-sharing, bed-sharing was reduced by 50%.
Mothers use the baby box. Of the mothers who received the baby box, a majority said they used the box as a sleeping place for their infants.
12% of mothers use the baby box as a primary sleep space. Of the mothers who received the baby box, 12% said they used the box as the primary or usual sleeping space for their infants.
Looking specifically at the breastfed infant population (breastfeeding has been shown to reduce the risk of SUIDS but also increase bed-sharing):
92% (184/199) of the breastfeeding respondents used the bassinet;
52% (104/199) used the bassinet as a sleeping space; and 11% used the bassinet as the primary sleeping space.
Of the 104 recipients who used the bassinet as a sleeping space, 63 (60%) responded the bassinet makes breastfeeding easier.
In the present study, a majority of bassinet recipients used it as an infant sleeping space. A majority of exclusively breastfeeding mothers reported that the cardboard bassinet facilitated breastfeeding.
I hope that helps...
how exactly does the bassinet facilitate breastfeeding, and how were they feeding before?
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends room sharing because it can decrease the risk of SIDS by as much as 50% and is much safer than bed sharing. In addition, room sharing will make it easier for you to feed, comfort, and watch your baby.
The AAP goes on to say: Bed-sharing is not recommended for any babies. However, certain situations make bed-sharing even more dangerous. Therefore, you should not bed share with your baby if:
* Your baby is younger than 4 months old.
* Your baby was born prematurely or with low birth weight.
* You or any other person in the bed is a smoker (even if you do not smoke in bed).
* The mother of the baby smoked during pregnancy.
* You have taken any medicines or drugs that might make it harder for you to wake up.
* You drank any alcohol.
* You are not the baby's parent.
* The surface is soft, such as a waterbed, old mattress, sofa, couch, or armchair.
* There is soft bedding like pillows or blankets on the bed.
With that being said, bed sharing is common in certain cultures where the prevalence of SIDS is low, including Asian communities (Japan, Hong Kong, Bangladesh, and those in UK) and Pacific Islander communities in New Zealand. Actually, it is not the bed sharing that distinguishes these cultures, but other factors (e.g., smoking and use of alcohol/drugs) which in conjunction with cosleeping may put infants at risk. However, there is conflicting evidence regarding the safety and efficacy of bed sharing during infancy—while it has been shown to facilitate breastfeeding and provide protection against hypothermia, it has been identified as a risk factor for SIDS.
If this is of interest to you, a published study called Is “Bed Sharing” Beneficial and Safe during Infancy? A Systematic Review can be found here (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3941230/).
Finally, to answer your question: breast feeding and bed-sharing are often linked. Having a lightweight bassinet, such as a baby box, decreases the practice of bed-sharing and thus decreases the risk of SIDS.
it is not clear from the mentioned study if research on other benefits of bed-sharing doesn't exist, or whether such studies were excluded because they didn't fit the focus of the review.
It also makes me wonder how they define "parent". Does it include legal guardians who are not biological parents?