Finnish families have enjoyed the privilege of the maternity package for 80 years. The Maternity Grants Act came into effect in 1937 and the first maternity packages were distributed the following year. Starting from 1949, the benefit has been granted to all expectant mothers, regardless of the family’s level of income.
Wide interest in maternity package
You can choose between a maternity package and a cash benefit of EUR 140. The popularity of the maternity package has remained stable: nearly all first-time mothers choose to take it, and a third of all expecting mothers. Adoptive parents are also entitled to the package, subject to certain conditions.
The box, which contains clothes, personal-care articles and items needed for baby care is sent to approximately 35,000 recipients every year. All in all, there are approximately 50 items in the box.
The products are chosen by means of a competitive tendering process as laid down by law. The designs and colours of the fabrics used vary annually and, along with other novelties introduced, they generate a great amount of interest among parents-to-be. The number of visits to Kela’s website always go up significantly when a new version of the maternity package is presented.
Benefit linked to healthcare
The maternity grant is also of relevance in terms of public health, as it forms a bridge between families and the maternity clinic system. In order to receive the benefit, a pregnant woman must undergo a medical examination before the beginning of the 5th month of pregnancy and claim the benefit no later than 2 months before the expected due date.
Information on how to claim maternity grant: http://www.kela.fi/web/en/maternity-grant-how-to-claim
Information on the procurement of products for the maternity package: http://www.kela.fi/web/en/maternity-package-how-the-items-are-selected?
Information on the maternity grant for adoptive families: http://www.kela.fi/web/en/family-benefits-for-adoptive-parents
Watch video "Maternity package prepares for parenthood": https://youtu.be/RsF1po7B6ck