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Visiting nurses to help young mothers through early years

14 April 2009

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Teenage mothers in Scotland are to be given a helping hand in a trial support scheme involving teams of dedicated nurses, it has been announced.

The Nurse Family Partnership (NFP) scheme is a US initiative that involves nurses dropping in on expectant mums in their own homes every one or two weeks during pregnancy, and during the first two years of their child’s life.

The scheme is to be piloted in the Lothian area and involves first-time parents or single mothers under the age of 19, according to Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon (pictured).

The mothers-to-be will be offered advice on breast feeding, child development, parenting skills and future pregnancy planning. They will also be given information about combating alcohol or cigarette dependency, along with better diet information.

The service will also include financial planning advice and guidance for mothers wanting to go back to education or employment.

During a visit to an already established project in Harlem, New York, Ms Sturgeon announced the scheme, saying it would begin in the NHS Lothian area in 2010.

In 2006, NHS Lothian Community Health Partnerships accounted for 18% of Scotland-wide births for mothers aged 19 and under.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

NHS Lothian