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May 06, 2016

Temple's baby box program aims to help reduce infant mortality rates

Hospitals Newborns
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Temple University Hospital has started a new program to help mothers and newborns sleep soundly.

All mothers who deliver at the hospital will receive a baby box to provide the newborn with a safe place to sleep.

The baby box is a functioning bassinet that has a sheet, a mattress, and essential baby supplies.

The goal of the program is to combat the high infant mortality rates in North Philadelphia due to babies born into poverty.

Providing the boxes will help reduce the rate of "co-sleeping," where parents and newborns sleep in the same bed.

"Having a baby can be overwhelming and there is so much for new parents to learn in such a short amount of time. We're trying to ease that transition and help give parents the education and resources they need to provide their babies with a safe sleep environment," says Megan Heere, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University, and Medical Director of the Well Baby Nursery at Temple University Hospital.

The Finland government developed the method to provide baby boxes in the 1930s when faced with a high infant mortality rate. The nation's mortality rate has steadily decreased because of the baby boxes.

The program, which began on May 3, is scheduled to last one year.

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