Forth Valley mums and babies meet Public Health Minister at baby guidebook launch

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Scotland’s Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick met mums and babies from across the Forth Valley for the launch of an updated guidebook for parents.

The Ready Steady Baby book by NHS Health Scotland offers a wealth of useful advice about pregnancy, labour and birth as well as guidance on babies up to eight weeks old.

The refreshed resource also includes the latest information on perinatal mental health support.

Hard copies will be offered to all pregnant women at their initial booking appointment and the material will also be available online.

For the first time all midwives will receive their own copies of the guide and the publication will also be available in Polish, Mandarin and Arabic.

Speaking at Forth Valley Royal Hospital’s Women and Children unit, Mr FitzPatrick said:

“I want to thank everyone who was involved in delivering the updated version of Ready Steady Baby, a valuable source which contains in one place all the maternity and neonatal information families may need.

“The newly extended advice on mental health, which builds on our recent announcement of £50 million to increase perinatal mental health support, will help ensure the best start for mothers, babies and families.”

Mr Fitzpatrick was introduced to the cover stars of the Ready Steady Baby book, five-month-old baby Zander, his mum Chloe Woodward (20) and gran, Paula Tubbie, who are all from West Calder.

Chloe said she found the guide to be “an invaluable resource” and felt “very proud” to be involved in the project.

Kippen woman, Kate McAllister (30) also attended the launch, along with her one-day-old-baby, Archie who was born at Forth Valley Royal Hospital’s maternity ward on March 13.

She said: “Archie is my third baby as I already have two little girls, Isla (3) and Sophie (1).

“The Ready Steady Baby book is a brilliant guide, particularly for first-time-mums but also for mums like me as a great reference tool.”

Expectant mum, Amy Owen (34) from Dunblane also attended the launch of the updated guide.

George Dodds, NHS Health Scotland’s director of Health and Equity added: “We’re very proud that by working with parents, carers and expert groups across government, the NHS, third sector and academia we’ve been able to develop this updated printed guide and new microsite. “This has ensured that a wide variety of views and expert opinions have been represented in this universal resource.”

Lynne Huckerby, NHS24’s Director of Service Development, said:

“Ready Steady Baby allows us to provide quality health information through the NHS inform website, supporting people through their whole pregnancy and the first eight weeks post-pregnancy.

“It puts that information directly in the hands of Scotland’s new families and we hope that they continue to find it to be valuable long into the future.”