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Why you are unlikely to get baby blues in Finland

Why you are unlikely to get baby blues in Finland

One reason is that looong prior to delivery every mother-to-be (Finnish or foreign, must be resident of Finland) gets a maternity package which keeps her busy about a week and gets her into a happy mood for a month.

2009 package  that I got looked as follows:

Äitiyspakkaus 2009

Picture: Vaula Aunola and Nana Uitto
© Kela

It includes all the basic stuff a new baby would need plus a few pleasant extras like the first hairbrush & rattle toy and – hehe – a pack of condoms. The box itself is normally used as the crib for baby, basically until the latter is 65 cm long. Unfortunately (this is the only “unfortunately” in the whole thing) , so is the winter overalls :-D; in my package it was actually 70cm long, so we bought another 56cm one by Reima for our tiny baby girl to fit in, and still it was far too large for our first trip home from the hospital.

Second (or maybe first, mmm?) comes the duration of the maternity leave 🙂 I was off work starting week 35 of my pregnancy, that is, Nov 17th 2009. The date of return would then be Sept 1st, 2010, however, I can still use my 4 week summer vacation of 2010, which I will sure do ;-), so Oct 4th is the day. And there’s still one week of my 2009 winter vacation… you see that possibilities are sooo many. I’m thinking over the option that we might keep October, too, to wait for Alisa to turn 11 months old and to follow her first weeks in daycare. We’ll see.

Thirdly, the follow-up of pregnancy and the baby during the first year of her life are simply AMAZING. “My” midwife Katarina at the äitiysneuvola gave me so much self-confidence that I was not even afraid of the delivery to come. Quite unusual for a first-timer 🙂 But true. “My” other midwife, Ritva, run the delivery process really smoothly and with no sign of worrying, and both Max and I were so occupied with this work that we completely forgot to ask for His Majesty Epidural or any other kind of pain relief 😀  Ritva offered them to me instead.

Now, we visit lastenneuvola with Alisa once a month and, if there’s a problem of any kind, visits to the Children’s Polyclinic are booked. The latter is, however, an extreme measure since in case of a baby under 3 months old almost any innocent question from the Mom leads to a night at the hospital 😀 The doctors take no risks…

The fourth reason, daycare. We are located in Vaasa, that’s the Wild West far west part of Finland.  A regular provincial town with not that much population. And let’s take just Suvilahti, the district we live in. 3 state run daycares, 26 private daycares! We can also apply for a place in the neighbouring districts. There’s English Playschool if any. And the daycare programs are quite different, at least theoretically.

If I start to list the baby products and other services available, that would make  a book worth applying for the Pulitzer prize 😀

So I’d better not.

A few pictures instead.

Delivery Room No.4 at VKS

Stuff on the table ready for the new baby

Lunch before delivery

It's a Girl!

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