‘Ready Steady Baby’ guidance updated

New edition of NHS Scotland’s guide to pregnancy, labour and birth.


A popular resource for pregnant women and their families has been updated to include the latest information on perinatal mental health support.

A refreshed edition of Scotland’s ‘Ready Steady Baby’ publication was launched today by Minister for Public Health Joe FitzPatrick.

It will be available in hard copies to all pregnant women at their initial booking appointment and will contain guidance on mental health support during or after pregnancy. For the first time all midwives will have their own copies of ‘Ready, Steady, Baby’ and the publication will also be available in Polish, Mandarin and Arabic.

The material contained in ‘Ready Steady Baby’ is also available online and, in addition to mental health, it covers issues such as antenatal care and planning for birth.

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

“I want to thank everyone who was involved in delivering the updated version of ‘Ready Steady Baby’. It’s a valuable source and 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.”

George Dodds, NHS Health Scotland’s Director of Health and Equity, said:

“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.”



Ready Steady Baby 

An easy read version is being prepared for people with difficulty reading.

The Scottish Government provides funding to NHS Health Scotland for a range of public health work and initiatives, including this new edition of ‘Ready, Steady, Baby’.

The Scottish Government is currently working with NHS Health Scotland, NHS Inform, and National Education Scotland to update the guidance for parents with babies eight weeks old and upwards.


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