Nicola Sturgeon meets babies and mums taking part in new project

By Amanda MacMillan

HEALTH Secretary Nicola Sturgeon has been meeting the first babies born to young mums taking part in a new US-inspired project.

The Family Nurse Partnership Programme supports first-time mums under 19 and is being tested in the NHS Lothian area.

The pioneering project is aimed at giving children a healthier start in life.

As part of the programme, seven family nurses visit expectant mums every one or two weeks during pregnancy and throughout the first two years of their baby’s life.

They offer guidance on child development, preventative health measures, parenting skills, breastfeeding, better diet information and advice for mothers on education and employment. Continue reading

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Number of ‘forced adoptions’ rocket as more children taken into care

More children than ever are being taken into care

By Cara Sulieman

THE NUMBER of parents having their children taken off them and put up for adoption has rocketed in the last three years.

The number of cases where social services have stepped in and forced adoption have doubled in the past three years and a record number of kids have been taken into care.

Figures obtained from Scotland’s councils under the Freedom of Information laws reveal that 203 children were put up for adoption by social workers last year.

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David Cameron urged to help new parents

By Martin Graham

CAMPAIGNERS are calling on David Cameron to help other parents who face hardship after the birth of their children.

Scots parents are being forced back into the workplace before they are ready because state benefits are so mean.  

Mothers are entitled to take a year off after giving birth, receiving 90% of their salary for six weeks.

But after this the amount drops to just £125 per week for the next 33 weeks.

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PICTURE OF THE DAY: Bond’s babies

FROM EDINBURGH WITH LOVE: Sir Sean Connery took time out of his whirlwind schedule to pose for photos with babies Oliver Curnow and Robert Hutchinson. They were born in the same Fountainbridge neighbourhood as the 007 hero, who was happy to meet their mums Miriam Leighton and Fiona Hutchinson.

Picture by Katielee Arrowsmith

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Scottish midwife behind bestselling cookbook launches new volume

Linda McDonald with her book

Linda McDonald with her book

By Cara Sulieman

A SCOTTISH midwife who became a surprise best-selling author with her first cookbook is about to publish the THIRD edition – with a little help from her celebrity friends.

Linda McDonald, 49, has already raised £270,000 for a hospital in Malawi through the sale of two cookbooks, and two calendars.

And for her third and final book she has drafted in the help of Big Brother host Davina McCall, Prime Minister’s wife Sarah Brown and former First Minister Jack McConnell.

What started as a conversation on the night shift at Simpson’s Maternity Unit in Edinburgh four years ago has turned into a charity that has attracted the attention of politicians and celebrities across the country.

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Politicians slammed by leading childcare expert

By Cara Sulieman

CHILD CARE expert Dr Penelope Leach has slammed politicians for making decisions about family issues they don’t fully understand.

Speaking to a packed tent at the Edinburgh Book Festival today (Tues), she said that the problem with the options available to parents today was that the policy makers have never experienced the problem themselves.

She said: “Hardly any politicians, academics or policy makers find it necessary to leave their own infants in the first few months in less than high quality child care.

“Quite a lot of them have no idea what it would be like to have no other choice.”

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New invention to help struggling parents on buses

Babyboard_9By Oliver Farrimond

STRUGGLING young parents are to receive a helping hand when trying to travel on public transport.

Inventor Michael Ridd, 21, has created a new type of baby buggy that folds completely flat, easing pressure on parents having to squeeze onto buses with young children.

The contraption fits easily into small spaces, and should prove a hit with parents trying to get to work by bus, tram or underground.

The invention – dubbed the “Baby Board” – has even earned the celebrity endorsement of millionaire business guru and BBC Dragon Shaf Rasul, who urged Michael to patent the design.

Michael, from Portobello in Edinburgh, said he first got the idea because of nightmare problems faced by some people he knows on local buses. Continue reading