Waikato Maori Health First to Adopt Finland Model
For 75 years Finland’s expectant mothers have been given a baby gift box by the state. It’s like a starter kit containing baby clothes, a sleeping quilt, mattress, bathing products and nappies. The box can even be used as a bed for the baby.
Some say it helped Finland achieve one of the world’s lowest infant mortality rates. It’s a tradition that dates back to the 1930s and is designed to give all children in Finland, no matter what background they’re from, an equal start in life. The maternity package – a gift from the government – is available to all expectant mothers who visit a doctor or pre-natal clinic before fourth month of pregnancy.
Waikato DHB’s Māori Health service (Te Puna Oranga) has adopted the Finland model and is giving out Mama and Pepi (baby) Packs based on the Finnish model to all pregnant mothers and their whānau who attend its Hapū Wānanga pregnancy and parenting programme.