How does the SNP support pregnant women and new parents?
From Summer 2019, we will use new powers to introduce a new Best Start Grant, supporting families at key stages of their child’s life. Low income families will receive a one-off grant of £600 for the first child, £300 for subsequent children and two payments of £250 each during a child’s early years.
Every baby in Scotland is entitled to receive a Baby Box. Based on the successful Finnish model, the box includes essential items for a baby’s first weeks and months and aims to tackle deprivation, improve health and support parents. Since their launch in August, we have delivered 10,000 baby boxes.
We have expanded access to IVF so that it is now the most generous in the UK. Patients referred for IVF treatment on the NHS in Scotland may now be eligible for three full cycles rather than two, increasing their chances of conceiving a baby. Families who have children in the home but where one parent has no biological children are now be eligible too.
From 1 April 2018 a new £1.5 million Neonatal Expenses Fund has been introduced to help parents of premature babies with the additional costs of their child being in hospital.
We’ve extended free vitamins to all pregnant women, helping improve the health of mothers and babies. And we are recruiting an extra 500 health visitors by 2018 so that every child benefits from a health development check at 30 months.
We will also increase resources for breastfeeding to support mothers, particularly in the days immediately following birth, and support the maternal and infant nutrition framework.
We are significantly expanding the Family Nurse Partnership (FNP), so that eligible first time mothers across the country can benefit from the programme.
One in five women are affected by mental health problems during pregnancy or in the year after childbirth. That’s why we are bringing together health professionals who work in perinatal and infant mental health to create a Managed Clinical Network to look at how we can improve perinatal mental health.
We have also established a working group to tackle pregnancy and maternity discrimination in the workplace. And at Westminster will fight to protect the rights of pregnant women and new mothers afforded under EU laws.