Memories of the maternity package

Äitiyspakkaus. Kuva: SKS
Collection of oral history from 1 September 2020 to 31 January 2021

The maternity package has been a part of Finns’ everyday lives since 1938, and it is closely connected to the Finnish welfare state. We are collecting memories and experiences related to the maternity package from parents, grandparents, godparents, parents’ spouses and/or anyone who has a memory or an experience to share about the maternity package in different decades.

You can write your answer in your own words using your mother tongue. The following questions might help in the writing process:

  • What kinds of positive or negative memories do you have about the maternity package? If your experience is connected to your own child’s maternity package, tell us when your child was born, how old you were, where you lived and what your family situation was like. Why did you choose to take the package and not the cash benefit? If you didn’t receive the package nor the benefit, how did it make you feel?
  • In what ways have people close to you, your neighbours, the staff at the maternity clinic and/or the media talked about the maternity package?
  • How and where did you get the maternity package? How did you feel when you got the package for the first time? What did the package look and smell like, and how did it feel when you touched it?  
  • Tell us about the content of the maternity package. How did the package help you in your everyday life as a parent?
  • What was the most important or most memorable object in the maternity package and why? Tell us about a memory related to that object.
  • Did your child, grandchild or your friend’s child sleep in the maternity box? Did people close to you or the staff at the maternity clinic have anything to say about babies sleeping in the box?
  • If you have several children, did you take the maternity package for each of them? Why or why not? Did you have a different experience with different packages? If you did, please explain in more detail.
  • What did you do with the box, the accessories and the clothes when your children grew up? What comes to your mind and how do you feel now when you look at the items of the package?
  • Are there stories about the maternity package that your family members or friends often tell you?
  • “The maternity package is a symbol of the Finnish welfare state” – how would you comment on this statement? What has been the significance of the maternity package in the recent history of Finland?

The collection is organised by SKS and the research project Baby Box as an Emotional Object: The Sociomaterial Experiences of the Finnish Welfare State from the 1930s to the Present lead by senior lecturer Tanja Vahtikari (Tampere University). The collected memories will be archived in the SKS archive and the Finnish Social Science Data Archive. The results of the collection will be published in spring 2021. There will be a book prize draw from among all those who have responded.

Further information:
SKS archive, tel. +358 201 131 240,

Answering instructions

Please write in your own language and style. The length of the texts is not restricted. We also accept photographs, recordings, videos, previous memoirs and interviews. Please only send material if you have the right and/or permission to send such material. We ask you to give consent for archiving the material in the SKS archive and for its use in accordance with the rules of the archive. In addition, we ask you to give consent for disclosing the material to the Finnish Social Science Data Archive so that it can process and use the material for research, teaching and studying purposes.

Please, read the instructions concerning disclosure and SKS archive guidelines.

Please submit your text by 31 January 2021

  • using the form below or
  • by post to the following address: Finnish Literature Society (SKS), archive, P.O. Box 259, FI-00171 Helsinki.
    • Please, mark the envelope with “Äitiyspakkaus”.
    • Include your consent for archiving the material in the SKS archive under your name or pen name, as well as your contact and background information. You can use the attached form.
If your answer exceeds 5 000 characters, attach the answer as a text file.
Your background information is important for the use of material. Background information given on this form will be linked to your answer.
SKS stores the recorded material and makes it available for public use in accordance with SKS’s mission. SKS’s mission is to promote, study and publicise Finnish culture. SKS processes personal data related to the collected material for archival purposes that serve the public interest in accordance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (2016/679) and the Data Protection Act (1050/2018). The collected material, its cataloguing information and the related personal data will be stored permanently for archival purposes, and they can be made freely available under the valid SKS archive guidelines to the extent allowed by law. When processing personal data for archival purposes that serve the public interest, the data subject’s rights described in the General Data Protection Regulation do not apply as a rule.

For further information about the processing of personal data, please visit our website.
More information about the use of material.

If you have questions about the processing of personal data and the use of material, please contact the customer service team of the SKS archive.

The providing of contact information is voluntary. We ask you to give us your contact information, because there will be a book prize draw from among all those who have answered. In addition, we will process the respondents’ information for future reference, e.g. for research purposes or to require copyright permission, because we need your consent to publish the material or use it in presentations. If the material that you send to us is archived under a pen name, we will delete your contact information after the prize draw. Then, it will be possible to cite the material but it cannot be published as a whole.