Motherhood and early childhood are firmly secured by the Finnish welfare state. Mothers have free access to special advisory and health care services during pregnancy and after giving birth. The services attend to the general health of mothers and their babies, and provide guidance in motherhood skills. The state also provides every expectant mother with a maternity package containing basic care necessities and clothes for care of the newborn child.

An earnings-related maternity benefit (about 70 percent of salary) is paid for 105 days, and a parental leave allowance is paid for a further 158 days. Parental leave can be taken by either parent, but it is typically the mother who stays at home. Fathers are entitled to a paternity leave of about three weeks. Every ...

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