Living in Finland

Cities

Raskaus ja synnytys
theme icon

Pregnancy and childbirth

You can buy a pregnancy test at a pharmacy. Large grocery shops also sell pregnancy tests.

When you are pregnant:

  1. Book an appointment at the maternity clinic.
  2. See a doctor before the end of the 4th month of pregnancy.
  3. If you have a job, give your employer written notification at least two months before you begin your maternity leave.

Book an appointment at the maternity clinic

When you realise that you are pregnant, contact the maternity clinic or family centre in your municipality. You can use the services of a maternity clinic or family centre if you have a municipality of residence in Finland.

Read more on the InfoFinland page Municipality of residence in Finland.

Asylum seekers can also use the services of a maternity clinic. In some cities, you can also use the services of a maternity clinic even if you are in Finland without a residence permit.

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. The services of the maternity clinic will be free of charge.

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.

linkkiNational Institute for Health and Welfare:
The handbook "We're Having a Baby"(pdf, 1,46 Mt)Finnish | Swedish | English | Russian | Somali

linkkiMinistry of Social Affairs and Health:
Information on maternity and child health clinic servicesFinnish | Swedish | English | Russian

See a doctor

See a maternity doctor clinic before the end of the 4th month of pregnancy. You can usually book an appointment with the doctor through the maternity clinic. When you see the doctor for an examination, you will receive a certificate of pregnancy. You will need the certificate if you apply to your employer for maternity leave. You will also need the certificate if you apply for a maternity grant (äitiysavustus) and maternity allowance (äitiysraha) from the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela).

Find out more about these benefits on the InfoFinland page Support for pregnant women. The page Finnish social security explains who has a right to Kela benefits.

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.

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.

Childbirth

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.