You might have heard of the maternity package which the Finnish government gives out to all expectant mothers in Finland, but do you know what the package actually contains?
Well, a recipient of the maternity gift recently posted pictures of the content of the box (which the package comes in) online and her story is going viral after she posted the photos of her opening her box on Reddit.
"I know Reddit has been interested in Finland's Maternity Box, the box every pregnant woman in Finland gets," she posted on Reddit. "Mine came today so i thought I'd show you all what I got."
“Every mother in Finland, regardless of income or anything else, is eligible to get this box after 154 days of pregnancy,” said the expectant mother who goes by the online moniker, GrumpyFinn. “It costs nothing, to get it all an expectant mother needs to do is fill out a basic form and submit a certificate of pregnancy from her healthcare provider. I got my box today and this was what it had!”
The package is a tradition that dates back to the 1930s and the aim behind the gift is to give all children in Finland an equal start in life, no matter their backgrounds.
According to the BBC, “Mothers have a choice between taking the box, or a cash grant, currently set at 140 euros, but 95% opt for the box as it's worth much more.”
“The contents of each kit changes year to year, but the contents of the 2014 kit are listed on Finland’s social security (Kela) site,” she said.
Such packages were first issued to parents of low income in 1938, but from 1949 it is given to all mothers-to-be provided they visited a doctor or municipal pre-natal clinic before their fourth month of pregnancy and the pregnancy has lasted at least 154 days. (Wikipedia)
According to the kela website, “The maternity package contains children's clothes and other necessary items, such as bedding, cloth nappies, gauze towels and child-care products.
“The maternity package is not a commercial product and therefore Kela cannot sell it. The items it contains are sourced through a competitive bidding process complying with EU law.”
Parents pick up their packages from the post office.
"This is such a great idea!" one blogger wrote. "There are so many challenges that come with being a new parent, and it’s cool to see Finland express its support for mothers in this way. Instead of just a cash handout, new mothers get this thoughtful collection of useful items. Go Finland!"
So, what’s in the 2014 package?
“There's a cloth diaper, and a towel, but the rest is almost all clothing in various styles and forms, all gender-neutral,” said GrumpyFinn. “The bottom of the box is also a mattress, so the baby is able to use it as a bed at the beginning of her life. All of the clothes are very high quality, and a good chunk of what came in the box was made in Finland or by Finnish companies.”
There are actually a lot more stuff in the care package. They include: insulated mittens and bootees, a sleeping bag, a quilt, lighted quilted suit, knitted overall, knitted hat, hat, balaclava, socks, several sets of body and romper suit, leggings, a stretchsuit, a mattress, bath towel, hairbrush, toothbrush, bath thermometer, 1 set of reusable nappies, 2 cloth nappies, bra pads, and more.
You can view the full list here: Maternity Package.