If you give birth in Finland, you're in luck! Along with your new bundle of joy, the government gives you a maternity box filled with clothes, sheets, toys, and a mattress. The mattress can be kept in the box and used as a baby-sized baby bed — so smart and so cost effective! Basically, a trip to a birthing center is like going to Ikea (in Finland), only you leave with all your furniture and a baby. What could be better?!*
Finland does this because they want to make sure all of their children, no matter what the background, are given an equal start in life. Obviously it's impossible to start all kids out on an even footing, but this small, helpful gift is thought to be one of the reasons Finland has one of the world's lowest infant mortality rates. That's because this box is worth quite a bit of money, and to receive it, women are required to get pre-natal checkups before their fourth month of pregnancy. It's a major incentive for moms-to-be to get the care they need. Very cool.
When Finland started the program in 1938, infant mortality was high — 65 out of 1,000 babies died. First the box came, and then the 60s brought a national health insurance system and central hospital network. Check out their progress:
So, as I was saying, who wants to give birth in Finland?
Here's my final selling point for any hold outs who aren't fond of eggbutter and cloudberries: The clothes in the boxes change every year, and are always super fashionable because hello! You're in Finland! So your baby is always So Fresh and So Clean.
Let's do this.
*Probably a lot of things if you don't want a baby.
Image via Shutterstock/Photobac.