Free Vitamins Scheme For Expectant Mothers Being Rolled Out

Every pregnant woman in Scotland will receive free vitamins starting this weekend.

Universal free supplements for expectant mothers are to be rolled out from April 1.

The Scottish Government said the move was aimed at improving the health of parents and children, and had widespread support from health workers.

Public health minister Aileen Campbell said: ''We are committed to giving every child in Scotland the very best start in life and helping women to enjoy a healthy pregnancy is a key part of this.

''There is strong evidence that taking vitamins during pregnancy improves both the mother and baby's health.

''By offering them to all pregnant women we can contribute towards giving every baby a fair and equal chance - a move that is widely supported by healthcare professionals.''

Ms Campbell was speaking at Edinburgh Royal Maternity Hospital, where she launched the first Scotland-only maternal and infant nutrition survey.

She said: ''I'm also pleased that the maternal and infant nutrition survey is now under way.

''Data will be gathered on nutrition, breastfeeding, formula feeding and weaning practices, and help us strengthen the support we offer to new mothers.

''I would strongly encourage pregnant women and families with young infants who receive a survey pack to complete and return it.''

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