For the father and partner
Fathers and partners are always welcome to the maternity and child health clinic. We would especially like you to join the first visit, as well as all of the extended health check-ups, which will map the health and well-being of your entire family. The extended health check-ups are performed once during pregnancy, and after the child is born at the ages of 4 months, 18 months and 4 years. Family coaching offered by the maternity and child health clinic is intended for all parents expecting their first child, so fathers and partners are welcome too!
Pregnancy, a new baby, your relationship with your partner and parenthood are things you share. A child will need at least one adult who feels connected and attached to them to facilitate appropriate and safe growth, but the child will benefit more from having several close people around them from the first moments on. A child will learn different things from different adults. For example, one parent in a family may be more nurturing, whilst the other is more curious and playful. However, all people have their nurturing, curious, playful, caring and boisterous sides, but may prefer to do things differently, which is a wonderful thing from the child’s perspective.
What matters most to a child is spending time with other people. In addition to getting breastmilk, a newborn’s biggest needs include skin contact, eye contact, hearing affectionate speech, smiles and the sense of movement while being held. A father or a partner will have a lot to give and receive in this. In section Baby's development, you can receive more information about babies’ development by reading or watching the videos.
All adults in a family have their own important roles when it comes to breastfeeding and ensuring a baby’s proper nutrition. Recognising the baby’s hunger signals and reacting to them appropriately are key in creating a calm breastfeeding environment. Support from the partner is vital to the success and continuation of breastfeeding. In section Breastfeeding and food, you can find more information about breastfeeding, its benefits and various tips.
The birth of a new baby is a life-altering experience that you can start preparing for already during pregnancy. Preparation may be easier for the mother than the father or partner, because she can feel the physical changes brought on by the pregnancy, as well as the growth and movements of the foetus, both in her body and mind. Therefore, it is important to talk to your spouse about the bodily changes, feelings and thoughts during pregnancy. Sharing these things will allow for the father or partner to begin their preparation too.
In section Preparing for a new baby, you can read more about becoming a parent.
Having a baby will have a significant impact on the parents’ relationship. The change for the parents will be considerable, particularly if the child is their first one, as the relationship of two now becomes a relationship of three, in which everyone has their own important role. However, a well-functioning relationship between the parents where the spouses are able to find the best possible way of sharing their lives in various situations bears special importance to the child’s development. Therefore, the parents should discuss the upcoming change before the baby is born. You can read more together in the section Parenthood and parents’ relationship. Return to this site during pregnancy and after your baby has been born. Parents should work to maintain a good relationship, and the website can offer tips on how to strengthen your relationship when your child is still young.
Acknowledging paternity in advance at a maternity clinic
Paternity can be acknowledged during pregnancy at a maternity clinic if
- there is only one possible father
- both parents agree on paternity and are present at the same time
- the fact that paternity will be acknowledged at the maternity clinic has been agreed upon in advance
- both parents have valid identity documents with them
- there is no particular hurry to confirm paternity after the birth of the child
- the language skills of all concerned parties are sufficient to acknowledge paternity
The parents must fill in their personal information on the document for acknowledging paternity in advance on a computer, print out the document and take it with them to the agreed appointment at the maternity clinic (pregnancy week 30–33). If the parents wish to also agree in advance on their shared custody of the child, they should fill in their personal information on the relevant form in advance on a computer and print it out for the appointment. The forms are signed at the maternity clinic in the presence of a nurse. If the parents have passports or ID cards granted by a foreign authority, they should bring copies with them in addition to the originals. A copy (of the personal information page) should be attached to the documents to be sent to the Local Register Office.
The maternity clinic delivers the verified and signed acknowledgment documents to the child welfare officer of the mother's home municipality, who will then send a notice of receipt to the parents.
If the paternity cannot be acknowledged at the maternity clinic, it will be acknowledged during a visit to the child welfare officer. You can make an appointment with the child welfare officer online, as well (in Finnish).
Documents (in Finnish)
- Acknowledgement of paternity before the birth of the child (in Finnish)
- Agreement on joint custody before the birth of the child (in Finnish)
The mother’s partner will also have an important role in successful breastfeeding.
Read the guide: The family guide to breastfeeding (pdf)