Well, when you find yourself pregnant in The Netherlands, your insurance company will send you a "kraampakket", a box filled with goodies in preparation for the baby's arrival. I was very curious of the contents of this box. As it turns out, it comes with everything you need for a birth at home: a plastic mattress protector, sterile gloves, alcohol, gauze, a clamp for the umbilical cord, a teddy
An important piece of information is that if you give birth at a hospital in The Netherlands, you can choose to donate your 'kraampakket' to Baby Hope, a foundation that collects and delivers medical material for birth in sanitary conditions in different countries. Childbirth is still a matter of life and death in countries where access to universal health care and hygienic conditions are not a given, and so, this organization collects unused material to send it to their projects supporting mothers and their children in countries like Gambia, Guatemala, Senegal, Birma, India, Albania, Ukrania or Tanzania.
On a related note, did you know that Finland's government also has the tradition of gifting pregnant women with a box?
Except the Finnish's box is full of pretty much everything your baby will need on those immediate first months: things like a mattress, mattress cover, undersheet, duvet cover, blanket, sleeping bag/quilt, a snowsuit, hat, insulated mittens and booties, light hooded suit and knitted overalls, socks and mittens,a knitted hat, bodysuits, leggings, a hooded bath towel, nail scissors, hairbrush, toothbrush, bath thermometer, nappy cream, wash clothes, cloth diaper set and muslin squares, a picture book and teething toy, bra pads and condoms.
Moreover, the box itself is often used as a crib for the baby too? Amazing! I wouldn't mind a box like that one!
Last two images via this BBC article.