Scottish Government
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Health of mothers improving

Increased numbers of mothers are acting on healthy living messages during pregnancy, a new study published today has revealed.

The Growing up in Scotland (GUS) study, undertaken by ScotCen Social Research, looks at life as a 10 month old child in Scotland in 2011. Some of the main findings are:

  • Compared with six years previous, more mothers completely avoided alcohol during pregnancy
  • High levels of satisfaction with the services of health visitors
  • 85 per cent of parents said their employer had at least one family friendly policy
  • Fewer children had accidents which required treatment
  • Increased numbers of parents regularly read to their children.

The Scottish Government is providing significant investment to drive further improvements in the Early Years through the Children and Young People Bill, the Family Nurse Partnership and the Early Years collaborative. Minister for Children and Young People Aileen Campbell said:

“This study shows progress and provides us with the unique evidence we need to help make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up. We are doing all we can to make sure our children get the best possible start in life and we are clear that  much more could be achieved with full fiscal powers.

“We have invested £18 million to support families through the Early Years Change Fund and an additional £11 million which will next year help treble the capacity of the Family Nurse Partnership to support first time mothers.

“Improvements to maternity care will be delivered through the Scottish Patient Safety Programme - beginning in March this year and aiming to reduce inequalities and deliver care that meet individual needs.

“We recognise the challenges faced by families across Scotland. That’s why we are legislating to increase to 600 hours the level of early learning and childcare for 3 and 4 year olds and looked after 2 year olds through the Children and Young People Bill. We have also invested £4.5 million to support local solutions to family support and child care.”

Growing up in Scotland report.

The Growing Up in Scotland study (GUS) study is funded by the Scottish Government, carried out by ScotCen Social Research.

This report draws on a nationally representative sample of 6,000 children born in Scotland in 2010/2011, whose main carer was interviewed when the child was aged 10 months old.  

Main findings of the report are:

  • 80 per cent of mothers in 2011/12 reported they had drunk no alcohol during pregnancy up from 74 per cent in 2005/6
  • 83 per cent of parents in 2011/12 reported as ‘good or very good’ their satisfaction with the service from their health visitor
  • 85 per cent of parents in 2011/12 said their employer offered at least one family friendly policy, up from 60 per cent in 2005/6
  • 8 per cent of children in 2011/12 had an accident requiring treatment down from 10 per cent in 2005/6.
  • Parents are more likely to have read to their children with 71 per cent in 2011/12 reporting that they read to their child most days compared with 67 per cent in 2005/6.

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