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Frequently asked questions about the Finnish maternity package (baby box)

Child mortality and declining birth rates caused concern in the late 1930s. The maternity grant enticed expectant mothers to access healthcare services early on in their pregnancy. The Maternity Grants Act was enacted in 1937, and the first maternity grants were distributed in the following year. At first, the maternity grant was intended for supporting families with the lowest incomes, but it has been given to all mothers since 1949. The maternity grant has always been a choice between a cash benefit and a maternity package.

Read more about the history of the maternity grant.

The maternity package has always included items for both the mother and the baby. In the early years, the package included sewing patterns and fabrics in addition to ready-made clothes and accessories. In recent years, particular attention has been paid to the quality, responsibility and versatility of the products included in the package.

Kela has been responsible for the maternity grant since 1994.

The maternity grant can be claimed by Finnish residents whose pregnancy has lasted at least 154 days and who have undergone a medical examination by a doctor or at a maternity and child health clinic no later than the 18th week of pregnancy. Adoptive parents are also eligible.

Finnish persons living abroad may receive a maternity grant if their permanent place of residence is in Finland. However, the maternity package will not be sent abroad and will only be sent to an address located in Finland.

The maternity grant is granted to the pregnant parent. It is designed to promote the health and well-being of the pregnant parent and the child.                        

Because the name of the maternity package is specified in the Maternity Grants Act, only Parliament can change it. In a 2018 survey, Kela asked citizens about a potential name change for the maternity package. Nearly 60% of respondents wanted to keep the name “maternity package”.

See the Maternity Grants Act (available in Finnish and Swedish at

The cash value of the maternity package is 170 euros. The maternity package is not commercially available. According to the Maternity Grants Act, the package is available as a benefit offered under the Finnish social security system.

See the Maternity Grants Act (available in Finnish and Swedish at

An allocation from the State’s annual budget is earmarked for the maternity grant, while the budget itself is mainly funded through taxes.

The maternity package changes every year. The timing of the change depends on the number of children born in the previous year: the remaining stock of the previous year’s edition of the package is always distributed first before the distribution of the new edition begins.

Since suppliers cannot commit to a certain price for several years at a time, the products included in the maternity package are selected once a year through competitive tendering. The products are selected by a maternity grant advisory council, which includes experts from Kela, the Finnish Safety and Chemicals Agency (Tukes), the maternity clinic in the Vantaa and Kerava wellbeing services county, the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

Customer feedback is also taken into account when selecting the products for the maternity package. Kela actively monitors customer feedback and social media channels and collects feedback on the packages with surveys. All feedback is studied closely and presented to the maternity grant advisory council. The council takes the feedback into account when planning a new maternity package and selecting products. Customers have influenced the selection of product patterns by voting.

Read about the procurement process for the maternity package.

The 2024 package includes 39 products, which is one more than the 2023 edition. The number of products varies slightly each year.

The 2024 edition contains seven products manufactured in Finland, and the box itself is also of Finnish origin. Although not all of the products are domestic, most of the manufacturers are currently from Finland. Under the Act on Public Procurement and Concession Contracts, manufacturers and products cannot be favoured on the basis of the country of manufacture or origin.

It is impossible to predict how many girls, boys and summer or winter babies will be born. The exact demand for the maternity package is also not known in advance. If there were different kinds of packages, procuring products and sending them to customers would require significantly more resources than it currently does. So far, Kela has decided to maintain the traditional package that is suitable for everyone.

Condoms are a good contraceptive to use before the post-delivery check-up since they prevent infections after childbirth. Condoms are also recommended during breastfeeding. For these reasons, the maternity grant advisory council has decided to include condoms in the maternity package.

The contents of the maternity package are decided every year when preparing the tender for the products included in the package. Therefore, condoms may not be included every year. The maternity grant advisory council takes account of the views and wishes of customers, manufacturers and various experts when selecting the products.

The box is made of recycled corrugated cardboard. Its dimensions are 700 x 428 x 270 mm. The maternity package weighs about 8 kg.

Kela has a wide range of requirements in the tendering process, such as requirements related to chemicals and product safety, among other things. Bidders must provide Kela with official documents for all of these. Products made of organic cotton, for example, have been favoured when procuring products, and bidders may have earned additional points for them in the tendering process.

Suppliers must affirm that the minimum age of their employees is in compliance with the provisions of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Kela also makes sure that the employees of the manufacturing companies are allowed to organise. In addition, an audit report by an impartial party is required for products manufactured in so-called high-risk countries.

Read about Kela’s responsibility in procurement.

Product prices may increase with responsibility, even though recycled material is not necessarily expensive, for example. Therefore, products can be both inexpensive and responsibly manufactured.

Surveys on the maternity package have shown that customers would be willing to compromise on the number of products if it helped to improve the responsibility of the package. Customers want products to be long-lasting and durable. The maternity package already includes things such as extension pieces that can extend the lifespan of the clothes as the child grows.

Read about Kela’s organisational responsibility.


Last modified 16/4/2024