Alva Forsius was a Finnish midwife and social worker. One of the founding members of the Finnish Salvation Army, she became aware of the effects of poverty and unsanitary conditions for new mothers. She established the first maternity home in Porvoo, published materials to educate women on childbirth and sanitation, and provided counseling for new mothers. Recognizing the needs of unwed mothers, she established one of the first homes to offer single mothers training and follow-up care so that they were able to provide for both the health and economic welfare of their families. Raising three foster daughters, as a single parent, she dedicated her time to helping mothers and children. In later life, she established a private retirement home for women.