Unfortunately it looks likely that I am going to miss receiving one of the new “Baby Boxes” – by just seven days! The Scottish Government initiative is to be rolled out for babies born from the 15th August onwards.
I could hardly believe hearing negative comments about this amazing initiative the other day on a radio chat show. And from some other mums and health professionals as well. Luckily there were some really well informed commentators on the show who put really good points across about these boxes.
Delivering baby boxes to mums with new babies is going to cost around £8 million a year – about £160 per box. The negative comments I heard were mostly about this cost. Well I can tell you, as a new mum to be, that the cost of these box pales into insignificance in the face of the feelings of being wanted and cared for by my community and country. I feel important and included and worthwhile and most importantly I feel that my baby is important and wanted.
Don’t get me wrong – my husband and I can afford what’s in these boxes with the help of my family and friends – I am very fortunate. But I know many ladies are not in that position and to have your country invest in this measure on behalf of you and your child is an immensely powerful “feel good” factor at a time when many of us feel vulnerable and worried. To be honest even though I can afford the box contents I wouldn’t necessarily know what should be there or how to use all the equipment. Another excellent help to new mum’s is that the boxes themselves can be used as a baby bed with an eye on supporting knowledge of and decreasing the potential of cot death.
Any way you look at this initiative it is positive. And without wanting to bang on about the SNP that is how, as a government, they make me feel – positive, wanted and included. I hope all the other social initiatives our government provides has the same effect; free bus travel for older folk, winter fuel payments, bedroom tax mitigation, the pension triple lock, free school meals, free university tuition, excellent student loans. Of course there is also the free dental care and the amazing NHS staff I have encountered so far.
You know, you couldn’t make it up – the idea that any of these initiatives are“bad”. Where else is there a parliament in the world that is prepared to make this kind of investment, this level of social commitment? And that is why I am most happy to be a new mum to be in Scotland.