Finland’s Baby Boxes

by B. Traven

The BBC has a great story about Finland’s 75-year tradition of providing expectant mothers with a special box of baby supplies including a mattress, socks and mittens, bodysuits, snowsuits, bath products, cloth diapers, a picture book.

And in addition to all this, Pulma says, the box is a symbol. A symbol of the idea of equality, and of the importance of children.

The program started in 1938, at first just for poor women, but became universal in 1949. It’s credited for, among other things, reducing Finland’s infant mortality rate to one of the lowest in the world (pregnant women have to visit a doctor in order to receive their box.)

Best of all, the box itself doubles as a crib!

Photo: Milla Kontkanen

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