New parents in Wales to get baby bundles for newborns

  • Published
woman holding baby clothes
Image caption,
A "tremendous help" for new mums, said Natalie Wilson

Expectant mothers in south Wales are to receive a bundle of goodies ahead of the arrival of their bundle of joy.

About 200 women are to be sent a box of essential items such as baby grows, blankets and changing mats.

The Welsh Government's baby bundle scheme, being piloted in the Swansea Bay University Health Board area for £115,000, aims to promote well-being and support parents.

It is hoped the cost of £200 per bundle will be halved as the scheme grows.

It could potentially be rolled out across Wales.

Image source, Scottish Government
Image caption,
Baby boxes in Scotland contain a range of useful products for newborn babies

Natalie Wilson, 30, from Gorseinon in Swansea, is 34 weeks pregnant with her first child.

She was the first person in Wales to receive a bundle and said they could help new parents, especially in deprived parts of the country.

"Getting something like this gives you a great insight into all the things you need," she said.

"Some mothers don't have a lot of money to spend on lots of nice things, so to get this bundle will help them tremendously."

What is included?

  • Baby grows
  • Sleeping sacks
  • Toys to help with communication and bonding
  • Kit for safe bathing

The idea originated in Finland in the 1930s where boxes of items were routinely handed to poorer families to counteract a high mortality rate among babies.

Some NHS trusts across England have piloted the scheme after it was introduced in Scotland in 2017.

In Wales, some of the bundles will also contain re-useable nappies and links to parenting advice.

The cost of each bundle is expected to drop by more than £100 as the scheme is rolled out to more people.

The contents were decided following consultations with midwives and other professionals. One of the more important items in the box is said to be a thermometer to take a baby's temperature.

'A gift for all parents'

"This is particularly important now for families whose babies are born in the midst of a pandemic," said Deputy Minister for Health and Social Care, Julie Morgan.

"We also hope these bundles will promote a more equal playing field for parents and their babies by reducing expenditure on newborn essentials.

"It's not targeted towards anyone in particular. We don't see it as a benefit in that sense. We see it as a gift for all parents who want it.

"This pilot will help us understand how successful it is and whether or not we want to roll it out across Wales."

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