Pregnancy and childbirth
You can buy a pregnancy test at a pharmacy. Large grocery shops also sell pregnancy tests.
When you are pregnant:
- Book an appointment at the maternity clinic.
- You will get a pregnancy certificate from the maternity clinic when your pregnancy has lasted at least 154 days, which is about five months. You need a certificate for Kela benefits and pregnancy leave.
- Apply for a maternity grant from Kela at least two months before the child’s due date.
- If you have a job, give your employer written notification at least two months before you begin your pregnancy leave.
- Apply for pregnancy allowance no later than two months after your leave starts.
Book an appointment at the maternity clinic
When you realise that you are pregnant, contact the maternity clinic (äitiysneuvola) or family centre (perhekeskus) in your area. You can use the services of a maternity clinic or family centre if you have a municipality of residence in Finland. The services of the maternity clinic will be free of charge.
Read more on the InfoFinland page Municipality of residence in Finland.
Asylum seekers can also use the services of a maternity clinic. You can use the services of a maternity clinic even if you are in Finland without a residence permit, but in that case you will usually have to pay the costs yourself.
At the maternity clinic, a nurse will monitor your health and the baby’s health. The maternity clinic will give you information for safety during the pregnancy and childbirth. You will also receive information about the services that are available for families with children in Finland.
Both parents of the baby are welcome to the clinic. If you want, you can also invite a support person for your appointments.
If you need an interpreter, the nurse can invite an interpreter to join your appointments. The interpreter must be an adult.
National Institute for Health and WelfareThe handbook "We're Having a Baby"Link redirects to another website
Ministry of Social Affairs and HealthInformation on maternity and child health clinic servicesLink redirects to another website
If you apply for pregnancy leave from your employer, you will need a pregnancy certificate. You will get it from the maternity clinic when your pregnancy has lasted at least 154 days, which is about five months.
You will also need the certificate if you apply for a maternity grant and pregnancy allowance from Kela.
Read more about family leave on the InfoFinland page Family leave.
Read more about Kela benefits on the InfoFinland pages Support during pregnancy and Benefits for a family after a child is born.
Private maternity clinics
There are also private maternity clinics in Finland. Please take into account the fact that private health care services are subject to a charge.
Read more on the page Health services in Finland.
Eat vitamin D during pregnancy
In Finland, you cannot get enough vitamin D from food and sunlight since it is dark in Finland in winter. Vitamin D is especially important during pregnancy because vitamin D deficiency can harm your baby, so you should take vitamin D supplements when you are pregnant.
For more information, please contact your maternity and child health clinic.
Genital mutilation and pregnancy
If you have been subjected to genital mutilation, a surgical opening operation can be done for you. It will ease examinations during pregnancy. It will also make it easier for you to give birth. The opening operation can also be performed before you become pregnant, during mid-pregnancy or during childbirth.
The maternity clinic nurse will ask you whether you have been subjected to genital mutilation. It is very important to tell her about it so that she can refer you to an opening operation.
In Finland, women usually give birth in a hospital. Ask the maternity clinic which hospital you need to go to give birth.
If you have a municipality of residence in Finland, childbirth will not cost much.
The other parent of the baby can be present during the birth. If you want, you can also invite another relative or friend to join you.
Most mothers in Finland give birth the traditional way. It is usually the safest way. If this is not possible, the doctor will make a decision about performing a C-section.
If you are afraid of childbirth, mention it at the maternity clinic. Help can be given for your fear, for example, at the Fear of Childbirth Outpatient Clinic (synnytyspelkopoliklinikka).
After childbirth, you will usually spend a few days at the hospital with the baby. The other parent or another support person can be with you at the hospital, helping you throughout the day. If you are giving birth to your first child, the support person can usually also spend the nights at the hospital with you.
When you go to the hospital, bring along some clothes for the baby that are warm enough for the journey home. If you plan to take your baby home by car, you will need a baby car seat (turvakaukalo).
Interpretation during childbirth
It is not possible to know the exact time of birth in advance. For this reason, it may be difficult to book an interpreter for the birth.
Some interpreter agencies are on call at weekends, in evenings and at nights. You can find out more about interpreter services in your municipality at your maternity clinic.
Read more about interpreter services on the InfoFinland page Do you need an interpreter?
After the child is born
The page When a child is born in Finland contains important information on practical matters that you need to handle after the child is born. There is information about, for example, registering the children in the Population Information System, the Finnish Act on Forenames and Surnames and the child’s social security.
Help with the baby
If you feel that you cannot cope alone with the baby, you can practise caring for the baby at a Mother and Child Home. Ask for more information about the activities at your maternity clinic. You need a referral from your municipality for the Mother and Child Home.