Maternal well-being is an important issue not only for mothers but also for their offspring and whole families. This study aims to clarify differences in subjective well-being for mothers with infants and associated factors by comparing Japanese and Finnish mothers.
In Finland, 101 mothers with infants who received health check-ups at child's age 4 months participated in the study. In Japan, 505 mothers with infants who should receive health check-ups at child's age 4 months and, whose age, age of the infant and number of children matched with the Finnish mothers were selected. The factors associated with maternal subjective well-being were explored by the linear regression analysis. All Finnish mothers had individual infant health check-ups by nurses in Child Health Clinics nearly monthly. The same nurse was responsible for following up the family throughout the years. All Japanese participants received group health check-up once at child's age 3 to 4 months, and a nurse did not cover same child and their mother.
Finnish mothers showed significantly better subjective well-being compared with Japanese mothers. Whereas 85% of Finnish mothers responded that they had obtained childcare information from public health nurses, significantly fewer Japanese mothers indicated the same response (8%). Linear regression analyses disclosed that mothers' subjective well-being was associated with country, mothers' stress and age.
Finnish mothers had better subjective well-being than Japanese mothers. Our results may indicate that the Finnish health care system supports mothers better than the Japanese health care system does.