It’s a tradition that has been around for 75 years that has new mothers around the globe green with envy: Finland’s expectant mothers receive completely free maternity packages filled with baby starter items like clothes, sheets and toys from the government.
The maternity package is a Finnish rite of passage for mothers and was enacted by the government in 1938 in an attempt to curb infant mortality and steer pregnant women into prenatal clinics. One of the requirements to receive the box is that expectant mothers visit a doctor of a municipal clinic before their fourth month of pregnancy.
Mothers can opt out and receive 140 euros, but the majority get the box, which is worth much more.
What’s usually inside? There’s a mattress, mattress cover, blankets, snowsuit, hat, duvet cover, sleeping bag, overalls, socks, mittens, bath towel, hairbrush, toothbrush, thermometer, nappy cream, washcloths, a picture book, teething toy, romper suits, hats, booties and mittens for the baby. The box doubles as a crib and there are also bra pads and condoms for mom.
It’s no surprise that Finland, along with Iceland and Norway, is one of the best countries in the world to be a mother. The United States, sadly, is ranked 33rd. (Photo via Flickr/roxeteer)