80 years of the Finnish maternity package
The maternity package, a Finnish innovation in well-being, was introduced 80 years ago. New in the 2017 version are a college-style overall and a sleeping pouch. Next year's maternity package will get a redesigned look.
The products included in the maternity package are selected via a yearly competitive tender process. The maternity package is developed continually on the basis of customer feedback. A maternity grant council evaluates all products and proposes which should be included in the maternity package. During the evaluation, the products are washed and their quality and durability are tested.
This year, the maternity package for the first time includes a sleeping pouch which features snaps at the bottom and can be used as a sleepsuit. Another addition is a light-weight, college-style zipped overall with a fun animal-themed pattern. A lubricant cream, last included in 2010, makes a return in this year's version of the maternity package. Per customer request, this year's version also includes a larger selection of practical footed leggings instead of onesies. The clothes feature a lot of bright colours, but there are also neutral colours that can mixed and matched. The 2017 version of the maternity package contains a total of 53 different products.
Distribution of the new version will begin at the earliest in late April. The date of the switch from the old to the new version varies slightly from year to year. This is because for reasons of sustainability, Kela first distributes the remaining stock of the previous year's version. Fewer babies were born in 2016 than in previous years, which means that about 2,400 fewer maternity packages were distributed in 2016 than in 2015.
Young designers helping to redesign the maternity package
The Act of Parliament establishing the maternity package was passed in 1937, and the first packages were distributed in the following year. Kela will celebrate the maternity package in two consecutive years.
As part of the celebrations, Kela will organise a design competition that will seek new visual ideas for the maternity package box, which can also be used as the baby's first bed. A selection of young designers and student illustrators from around Finland have been invited to participate in the competition. The maternity package design competition is part of the official celebrations for Finland's centenary. The winning designs and the new look for the 2018 version of the maternity package will be announced in late 2017.
The current year is a multiple anniversary for Kela in other ways as well. Besides the anniversary of the maternity package, Kela will celebrate its own 80th anniversary and Finland's centenary. Kela's theme for the anniversary year 2017 is "Working together for wellbeing".
Ask Kela-Kerttu for advice online: kysykelasta.kela.fi/lapsiperheet ja facebook.com/kelakerttu
Kela Maternity Package - unboxing
Customer service phone number for families with children: 020 692 206, open between 8 am -and 5 pm Monday -to Friday