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芬兰宝宝睡纸箱 婴儿死亡率全球最低

2014-06-26    来源:chinadaily    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Why Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes

75年以来,芬兰的准妈妈们都会收到国家发给她们的一个纸箱子。这只箱子有点像一个装满衣服、被单和玩具的入门套装,甚至可以用作小床。有人说正是这一举措使得芬兰得以保持世界最低的婴儿死亡率。

It's a tradition that dates back to the 1930s and it's 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.

It contains bodysom, the box becomes a baby's first bed. Many children, from all social backgrounds, have their first naps within the safety of the box's four cardboard walls.

Mothers have a choice between taking the box, or a cash grant, currently set at 140 euros, but 95% opt for the box as it's worth much more.

The tradition dates back to 1938. To begin with, the scheme was only available to families on low incomes, but that changed in 1949.

"Not only was it offered to all mothers-to-be but new legislation meant in order to get the grant, or maternity box, they had to visit a doctor or municipal pre-natal clinic before their fourth month of pregnancy," says Heidi Liesivesi, who works at Kela - the Social Insurance Institution of Finland.

So the box provided mothers with what they needed to look after their baby, but it also helped steer pregnant women into the arms of the doctors and nurses of Finland's nascent welfare state.

In the 1930s Finland was a poor country and infant mortality was high - 65 out of 1,000 babies died. But the figures improved rapidly in the decades that followed.

Mika Gissler, a professor at the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki, gives several reasons for this - the maternity box and pre-natal care for all women in the 1940s, followed in the 60s by a national health insurance system and the central hospital network.

Contents of the box

Mattress, mattress cover, undersheet, duvet cover, blanket, sleeping bag/quilt
Box itself doubles as a crib
Snowsuit, hat, insulated mittens and booties
Light hooded suit and knitted overalls
Socks and mittens, knitted hat and balaclava
Bodysuits, romper suits and leggings in unisex colours and patterns
Hooded bath towel, nail scissors, hairbrush, toothbrush, bath thermometer, nappy cream, wash cloth
Cloth nappy set and muslin squares
Picture book and teething toy
Bra pads, condoms
Dressing baby for the weather: Finland's official childcare advice

At 75 years old, the box is now an established part of the Finnish rite of passage towards motherhood, uniting generations of women.

Reija Klemetti, a 49-year-old from Helsinki, remembers going to the post office to collect a box for one of her six children.

"It was lovely and exciting to get it and somehow the first promise to the baby," she says. "My mum, friends and relatives were all eager to see what kind of things were inside and what colours they'd chosen for that year."

Her mother-in-law, aged 78, relied heavily on the box when she had the first of her four children in the 60s. At that point she had little idea what she would need, but it was all provided.

More recently, Klemetti's daughter Solja, aged 23, shared the sense of excitement that her mother had once experienced, when she took possession of the "first substantial thing" prior to the baby itself. She now has two young children.

"It's easy to know what year babies were born in, because the clothing in the box changes a little every year. It's nice to compare and think, 'Ah that kid was born in the same year as mine'," says Titta Vayrynen, a 35-year-old mother with two young boys.

For some families, the contents of the box would be unaffordable if they were not free of charge, though for Vayrynen, it was more a question of saving time than money.

She was working long hours when pregnant with her first child, and was glad to be spared the effort of comparing prices and going out shopping.

"There was a recent report saying that Finnish mums are the happiest in the world, and the box was one thing that came to my mind. We are very well taken care of, even now when some public services have been cut down a little," she says.

When she had her second boy, Ilmari, Vayrynen opted for the cash grant instead of the box and just re-used the clothes worn by her first, Aarni.

A boy can pass on clothes to a girl too, and vice versa, because the colours are deliberately gender-neutral.

Infant mortality in Finland The contents of the box have changed a good deal over the years, reflecting changing times.

During the 30s and 40s, it contained fabric because mothers were accustomed to making the baby's clothes.

Continue reading the main story More from the Magazine

Pram in snow Would you put your baby or toddler outside in the freezing cold for their lunchtime nap? Most Nordic parents wouldn't give it a second thought. For them it's part of their daily routine.

"I think it's good for them to be in the fresh air as soon as possible," says Lisa Mardon, a mother-of-three from Stockholm, who works for a food distribution company.

"Especially in the winter when there's lots of diseases going around... the kids seem healthier."

The babies who nap in sub-zero temperatures But during World War II, flannel and plain-weave cotton were needed by the Defence Ministry, so some of the material was replaced by paper bed sheets and swaddling cloth.

The 50s saw an increase in the number of ready-made clothes, and in the 60s and 70s these began to be made from new stretchy fabrics.

In 1968 a sleeping bag appeared, and the following year disposable nappies featured for the first time.

Not for long. At the turn of the century, the cloth nappies were back in and the disposable variety were out, having fallen out of favour on environmental grounds.

Encouraging good parenting has been part of the maternity box policy all along.

"Babies used to sleep in the same bed as their parents and it was recommended that they stop," says Panu Pulma, professor in Finnish and Nordic History at the University of Helsinki. "Including the box as a bed meant people started to let their babies sleep separately from them."


At a certain point, baby bottles and dummies were removed to promote breastfeeding.

"One of the main goals of the whole system was to get women to breastfeed more," Pulma says. And, he adds, "It's happened."

He also thinks including a picture book has had a positive effect, encouraging children to handle books, and, one day, to read.

And in addition to all this, Pulma says, the box is a symbol. A symbol of the idea of equality, and of the importance of children.

The story of the maternity pack

1938: Finnish Maternity Grants Act introduced - two-thirds of women giving birth that year eligible for cash grant, maternity pack or mixture of the two
Pack could be used as a cot as poorest homes didn't always have a clean place for baby to sleep

1940s: Despite wartime shortages, scheme continued as many Finns lost homes in bombings and evacuations

1942-6: Paper replaced fabric for items such as swaddling wraps and mother's bedsheet

1949: Income testing removed, pack offered to all mothers in Finland - if they had prenatal health checks (1953 pack pictured above)

1957: Fabrics and sewing materials completely replaced with ready-made garments

1969: Disposable nappies added to the pack

1970s: With more women in work, easy-to-wash stretch cotton and colourful patterns replace white non-stretch garments

2006: Cloth nappies reintroduced, bottle left out to encourage breastfeeding

相关内容

据英国广播公司(BBC)网站报道这项传统始于20世纪30年代,政府实施这一举措旨在让所有婴儿都能拥有一个平等的人生开端,无论他们出身如何。

每一位芬兰的准妈妈都可以收到这样一个产科包——一份来自政府的礼物。

新生儿被放在这个箱子里面,这箱子便成为了他们的第一张床。来自各种社会背景的婴儿,都在箱子四面纸板的安全保护下进入生命中第一次酣眠。

准妈妈们可以在产科包纸箱和现金之间二选一,现金的金额为140欧元,不过95%的人都会选择产科包纸箱,因为它更有意义。

这项传统开始于1938年。起初,产科包纸箱只是针对那些低收入家庭,但1949年起,政策开始改变。

“政府不仅开始向所有的准妈妈们提供产科包纸箱,同时新的法案还规定要想得到产科包或者现金,准妈妈们必须在怀孕的第四个月之前去一次医院或者是当地的产前诊所进行检查,”在芬兰社会保障中心工作的海蒂(Heidi Liesivesi)说。

产科包为准妈妈们提供了照料孩子所需要的各种东西,还使她们愿意向芬兰高福利医疗体系中的医生护士寻求帮助。

20世纪30年代的芬兰还是一个贫困的国家,婴儿死亡率非常高——每1000个婴儿当中就有65个会死亡。但是在接下来的日子里,芬兰的婴儿死亡率开始大幅下降。

国家健康福利研究所的米卡·吉斯勒教授为我们归纳了婴儿死亡率下降的原因:一方面,40年代起产科包开始发放以及孕妇需要进行孕期检查,另一方面,60年代全民医疗保障体系获得推广,中央医疗网络也起了一定作用。

产科包中所装的物品

褥子,床罩,床单,被罩,毯子,睡袋/棉被
纸箱本身还可作为婴儿床
儿童防雪装,帽子,绝缘手套,婴儿袜
连帽衫套装以及针织背带裤
短袜和手套,巴拉克拉法帽子
紧身连衫裤,连体衫,以及男女皆可用的裹腿,中性裹腿。
浴巾,指甲剪,发刷,牙刷,浴用温度计,尿布霜,洗浴毛巾
尿布和口罩布
图画书和出牙期玩具
胸罩垫,安全套

存在了75年之久的产科包,如今已经成为芬兰准妈妈们必经的一项仪式,小小的纸箱将几代芬兰女人凝聚在了一起。

49岁的克莱迈提仍然记得她当初前往邮局领取产科包的情景,这位来自赫尔辛基的女士一共育有6名子女。

“拿到箱子的感觉非常愉快,感觉好像是对孩子做出的第一个承诺一样,”她说。“我的妈妈、朋友和亲戚都很想看看箱子里到底装了些什么东西,还想知道他们今年选了什么颜色。”

她的婆婆在60年代养育自己的第一个孩子时就享受到了产科包带来的极大帮助,如今老人已经78岁了。在那时,她完全不知道自己需要些什么东西,但是产科包里已经都为她准备好了。

最近,当克莱迈提23岁的女儿索洁(Solja)在孩子出生之前领取到了产科包时,她也终于体验到了她的母亲经历过的那种激动。现在,索洁已经是两个孩子的母亲了。

“很容易就能知道孩子出生的年份,因为箱子里的衣服每年都会有一些变化。孕妇之间互相对比也很有趣。”‘啊,这孩子跟我的孩子是同一年出生的呢,’35岁的瓦伊里宁说,她已经使两个男孩的母亲。

对于有些家庭而言,如果不是免费,箱子里那些物品可能是他们无力负担的,然而对于瓦伊里宁来说,产科包带来的意义更多的是为她节省时间而不是钱。

瓦伊里宁怀第一个孩子时的工作时间很长,让她感到高兴的是,产科包里一应俱全的装备为她省去了外出购物以及货比三家所需要的时间。

“有一份报告说芬兰的母亲是全世界最幸福的,看到这个结果的时候我脑子最先想到的就是产科包。的确,即使一些公共服务已经被削减,我们仍旧受到了很好的照顾”,她说。

在怀第二个孩子伊万里的时候,瓦伊里宁选择了现金而不是产科包,因为她直接将第一个孩子阿尔尼的衣服再利用了。

男孩可以将产科包中的衣服传递给女孩用,反之也一样,因为那些衣服的颜色正是特意选择出的男女皆宜的。

随着年份的变化,产科包中的物品也变了又变,这些变化反映着时代的变迁。

30和40年代的产科包中还装着纺织品,因为当时的母亲习惯于自己给孩子制作衣服。

但是在二战期间,由于国防部需要大量的法兰绒和棉花,因此产科包中的需求就用纸床单和襁褓布来代替。

50年代开始,出现了大量成衣,60、70年代开始,又开始出现由新的弹性纤维制成的成衣。

1968年出现了睡袋,在接下来的时间里,又有很多一次性的尿布开始出现。

不久,在世纪之交,由于人们环境保护理念的增强,布尿布重新回到历史舞台,一次性用品开始消失。

鼓励更好的养育方式一直都是政府推行产科包时秉承的一项理念。

“过去婴儿都是和父母睡在同一张床上,但后来有专家建议父母们不要这么做,”赫尔辛基大学的帕努·普尔玛(Panu Pulma)教授说。“将纸箱子作为婴儿床来使用也意味着人们开始抛弃过去那种和宝宝睡在一起的做法。”

为了推广母乳喂养,产科包中去除了奶瓶和类似的仿制品。

“这一系列举措的目的就是为了鼓励更多女性实行母乳喂养,”普尔玛说,“并且也的确实现了这一目的。”

他还认为在产科包中的图画书也会产生积极的影响,它会鼓励婴儿拿起书,然后有一天,甚至会去读它。

除了这些之外,普尔玛说,这个产科包时一个符号。它象征着平等的理念,也象征着孩子们的重要性。

产科包的故事

1938年:芬兰产科拨款法案帮助三分之二的芬兰孕妇,她们或是选择现金,或是选择产科包,或是选择两者的混合。
产科包可以作为婴儿床来使用,因为有些贫困的家庭甚至没有一块干净的地方来供宝宝睡觉。

1940年代:尽管面临着战时物资短缺,甚至很多芬兰人在爆炸和逃难中失去了家庭,产科包计划仍旧在实行。

1942年6月:人们开始用纸来代替原来产科包中的纺织品,诸如襁褓布和床单之类的。

1949年:原有的收入审查取消,产科包开始向所有的芬兰孕妇发放——只要她们手中有孕期检查记录单(上图为1953年的产科包)

1957年:产科包中的纺织和缝纫材料彻底被成衣取代

1969年:产科包中增加了一次性尿布

1970年代:随着越来越多妇女都在工作,易洗的、有弹性的棉花以及彩色的款式代替了原先无弹性的白色衣物

2006年:布尿布重新回到产科包中,并将奶瓶去除,以推进母乳喂养


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