This site is intended for health professionals only

Teen mothers get more support in Scotland

Teenage mothers in Scotland will now have extended nurse support, the government has announced. 

The scheme, which was created in the US, aims to help first-time parents aged 19 or under give their babies a “healthier start to live”. 

Expectant mothers are visited by a specialist nurse every few weeks during pregnancy and through the first two years of their baby's life. 

The nurses aim to help with areas such as child development, preventative health measures, parenting skills and breastfeeding. 

According to the Scottish government, the scheme costs around £3,000 per mother each year. More than 1,600 pregnant women will be able to take part in the scheme, which has been running since 2010. 

A total of £8.6 million has been invested in the programme. 

Health Secretary Alex Neil told the BBC: "Over the past few years, I have been lucky to meet many women and children who have enjoyed the benefits of one-to-one support and continued professional advice during those crucial early years.

"It's important we are getting it right for every child. Through this programme the children I meet are healthier and happier through the positive choices made by parents. That's why it is important that more families are going to be able to benefit from this programme.

"The assistance of these partnerships last beyond a generation and its hoped the good judgments parents make now will be taken on by their children when they start a family."