Photo Credit: Buzzfeed
Would you like a box of baby supplies for each time you're expecting a baby? That's what happens to Finnish women, and we have to say it's pretty incredible.
Finnish women can expect to receive a box full of baby supplies when they’re expecting a baby. A program put in place by Finland’s government gives every pregnant woman in the country the option to receive a cardboard box filled with clothing, diapers and other baby essentials. The box itself has a small mattress inside of it and can be used as a crib for newborns.
The box program started back in the 1930s and was originally for only low-income women. Finland was facing high infant mortality rates and began giving out the boxes to help the problem. The program was successful, and in the 1940s they made it available to all women, regardless of income status, as long as they visited a doctor or pre-natal clinic before the fourth month of their pregnancy. Now the program has become a tradition for many of those in the country.
Photo Credit: Kela
"It was lovely and exciting to get it and somehow the first promise to the baby," Reija Klemetti told the BBC. "My mum, friends and relatives were all eager to see what kind of things were inside and what colors they'd chosen for that year."
The contents of the box have varied throughout the years. In the first few decades, mothers received fabric and sewing supplies to make their own baby clothes, whereas now mothers receive ready made clothing.Fabric diapers were removed from the boxes in the 1960s but then re-added in 2006 because of environmental concerns.
You can learn more about the history and contents of Finland’s baby supplies boxes here.