Nurse Partnership Project

HEALTH SECRETARY MEETS FIRST BABIES IN TEEN PARENT PROJECT

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon recently met the
first babies born to young mums taking part in a US-inspired programme to
give their children a healthier start in life.

The Family Nurse Partnership Programme is being tested in the NHS Lothian
area, where it is supporting first-time parents under the age of 19.

The seven family nurses visit expectant mums every one or two weeks during
pregnancy and throughout the first two years of their baby’s life, offering
guidance on child development, preventative health measures, parenting
skills, breastfeeding, better diet information and advice for mothers on
education and employment.

Ex local resident Young mum, Lucy McBean, who met Ms Sturgeon during the visit told the chronicle ‘It helped me to understand what to do with a baby because at first I didn’t have a clue, so they taught me how to bath and how to feed the baby and stuff- stuff that people need to know about babies.’

A total of 55 babies have so far been born to the 131 families currently
taking part in the project, and several babies and their parents were at
the project’s base in Craigmillar when Ms Sturgeon visited

Lucy added, ’I think it is brilliant because they start off from when you’re first pregnant and they go all the way through, so you get to know them better as well instead of having a midwife and moving on to a health visitor you don’t know, you’ve got a person you already know and trust you can turn to for advice.’

Lucy welcomed the opportunity for fathers to get involved with the project.

Husband ,Andy Mcbean, explained ‘At first I thought it would just be the mums that would be involved- but us Dads also get involved’

Ms Sturgeon said:

“The Family Nurse Partnership is 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.

“I am delighted to be meeting the first babies born under the project and
look forward to hearing about their progress over the next two years.

“We know that the programme in America has achieved some fantastic results
for parents and their children _ such as improving prenatal health,
increasing employment for young mothers, resulting in fewer unintended
pregnancies and helping to reduce child neglect.

“Intervening at the earliest opportunity to improve children_s wellbeing is
absolutely crucial to improving Scotland_s health in the long-term and I am
confident that the benefits seen in the US thanks to this programme will
also be seen in Scotland.”

By Kelly Wade.

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