Practice guidance

Guidance for parents

NHS Health Scotland produces Ready Steady Baby! to guide parents through pregnancy, antenatal care, labour and birth. It offers advice on maternity leave and benefits and tips on caring for a baby in the first year.

Ready Steady Baby is universal information which has been provided in more accessible formats for the following groups:

NHS Health Scotland also produces Off to a Good Start, a breastfeeding guide which aims to help mothers decide about breastfeeding their baby. It gives information about successful breastfeeding and incorporating breastfeeding into all aspects of family life, including guidance about breastfeeding in public and returning to work, in keeping with legislation.

The Maternity Action website provides specific information relating to the Equality Act 2010 and rights at work, the responsibilities of employers, breastfeeding in public places and what to do if you are treated unfavourably.

Guidance for practitioners

The Maternal and Early Years website has information about inequalities in pregnancy and provides a list of evidence and professional support materials. For example, the client focussed response to reducing health inequalities provides a list of key indicators for assessment of risk, including young parenthood; gender-based violence and families living in poverty.

In 2008 the Scottish Government published a summary of the evidence base for early years interventions, covering the following areas: pregnancy at a young age; maternal and foetal health during pregnancy; maternal and child nutrition and physical and mental health; child development and early education; parenting in the early years; vulnerable groups and longer term impacts.

The Family Nurse Partnership Programme runs in a number of health board areas in Scotland and provides support for young first time mothers from pregnancy until the child is two years old.

Teenage parents: who cares? (2008) is a guide to commissioning and delivering maternity services for young parents produced by the Department of Health.

Parenting across Scotland is a partnership of relationship organisations and children’s charities working together on issues affecting parents and families in Scotland today. They have produced a series of articles highlighting good practice and also highlight key research on parenting.

NICE has produced guidance on improving the nutrition of pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and children in low income households.

The Healthy Start voucher scheme is available to improve nutrition for pregnant women and children in deprived areas.

Updated May 2015

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