January 26, 2016

Canada to adopt Finland’s baby box model

The maternity package tradition dates back to the 1930s and it's designed to give all children in Finland, no matter what background they're from, an equal start in life.
The maternity package tradition dates back to the 1930s and it's designed to give all children in Finland, no matter what background they're from, an equal start in life.
Kela & Annika Söderblom / Nana Uitto

The Finnish maternity package model has been adopted by more than 30 countries and Canada is the next one on the list.

The news was reported by The Independent.

For nearly 80 years Finland’s expectant mothers have been given a maternity package by the state. The package is a starter kit that contains children’s clothes and other necessary items and even a built-in-mattress to enable the box to be used as a first bed for the new-born. Some say that the package has even helped Finland to achieve one of the world’s lowest infant mortality rates.

Now Canada, with the second-highest first-day infant mortality rate in the industrialised world, has started a pilot scheme of the maternity package in Alberta, providing 1 500 maternity packages.

The Canadian version of the Finnish maternity package contains breast pads to encourage breastfeeding, a children’s book by a Canadian author and a “Crib-Side Assistance” resource for fathers to encourage paternal bonding.

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