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Scottish minister visits young parents project

A groundbreaking new programme is giving teenage parents the support they need to make the right choices for their children, a government minister has said.

Scottish Health Secretary, Nicola Sturgeon, visited the Family Nurse Partnership Programme to witness the work being done to support first-time parents under the age of 19.

The trial in the Lothian area will see seven family nurses visit pregnant women once or twice during their pregnancy and for the first two years of the child's life.

Parents are offered guidance on employment, education, diet and nutrition, breastfeeding, parenting skills, preventive health measures and child development.

A total of 55 babies have so far been born to the 131 families currently taking part in the project.

Ms Sturgeon said the scheme, based on a similar programme in the US, would help improve the long-term picture of public health in Scotland.

She said it was a "truly inspirational" programme.

"I know from speaking to the parents involved that they are forming really strong bonds with the nurses from the project, which is giving them the support and help they need to make the right choices for their children," she said.

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