For 75 years, pregnant women in Finland have received cartons of government. It’s like a starter pack with clothes, blankets and toys that in turn can be used as a crib. Many argue that this policy helped the Nordic country is one of the nations with the lowest infant mortality rate in the world.
It is a tradition dating back to the early 30s and seeks to give all Finnish children, regardless of social status a fair start in life. The maternity package, a gift of the government, is available to all expectant.
With the mattress on the bottom, the box becomes baby’s first bed. Thus, many children have their first nap inside security offered by cardboard walls. Mothers can choose to take the gift or receive cash (about $ 214), but 95% opt for the box, since its value is much higher.
This tradition was born in 1938. At first it was just for low-income families, something that changed in 1949. “Not only was offered to all expectant mothers, but the new legislation also meant that to get the box, had to visit a doctor and a public prenatal clinic before four months pregnant”, says Heidi Liesivesi, who works in Kela, the Finnish social security institution.