Strand 3: Pregnancy in Young People
Young people who have conceived should be provided with objective and non-judgmental information and support to be able to make an informed choice regarding how they proceed with their pregnancy.
Early identification of pregnancy and pregnancy options
Pregnancy information and advice
Action 3.1 Information on pregnancy should be available in places frequented by young people and should consider the needs and concerns of young people, particularly concerns around confidentiality.
Action 3.2 Accurate and up to date information on pregnancy and local services is made available on local sexual health websites and other websites aimed at young people.
As part of their project to support pregnancy and parenthood in young people, Young Scot are working to include more information on www.youngscot.org on pregnancy, linking to Actions 3.1 and 3.2 in the PPYP Strategy.
This will include more information on early identification of pregnancy, including on the signs and symptoms of pregnancy. It will also provide information on pregnancy options and who young people can approach in confidence if they need advice and support about a pregnancy.
Getting Maternity Services Right for Young Parents
Action 3.7 A guide for midwives, doctors, maternity support workers and receptionists will be developed in collaboration with the NHS and young parents based on the Public Health England guide 'Getting maternity services right for pregnant teenagers and young fathers'.
The PPYP Strategy committed to developing a guide that would support those working in maternity services to better understand the particular needs of pregnant young women and their partners (Action 3.7). NHS Health Scotland has been developing 'Getting Maternity Services Right for Young Parents', the content of which is now finalised. A 'quick reference guide' is now being developed and both resources will be published in Autumn 2019.
Next Steps: We will publish 'Getting Maternity Services Right for Young Parents' and the accompanying quick reference guide.
Pathways of care
Teenage mothers have higher rates of poor mental health for up to three years after the birth of their baby and are three times more likely to experience post-natal depression. Supporting the mental health of young mothers is vital and the earlier support and treatment is provided, the better for both mother and baby.
The Scottish Government has committed to supporting women's mental health by transforming the services they receive during pregnancy and after birth, through the provision of individually determined tiers of support, from counselling to the provision of specialist services. Perinatal and infant mental health was a significant commitment in the 2018/19 Programme for Government, which established a commitment to providing three tiers of support across Scotland, in line with the needs of individuals:
- For those 11,000 women a year who would benefit from help such as counselling we will support the third sector to provide this
- For those 5,500 women in need of more specialist help we will ensure rapid access to psychological assessment and treatment
- For those 2,250 women with the most severe illness we will develop more specialist services and consider the need for a small number of additional inpatient beds or enhanced community provision
On March 6 2019 the First Minister announced that commitment will be supported by £50 million of investment in perinatal and infant mental health services over the next 4 years. The Perinatal Mental Health Managed Clinical Network also published its recommendations on 6 March, along with the Women and Families Maternal Mental Health Pledge which was developed by women with lived experience of perinatal mental health services. In order to deliver the PfG commitment, a Programme Board has been established, chaired by Hugh Masters. The composition and structure of the Board and associated groups will take into account the needs of young parents and in particular will look at links to the Family Nurse Partnership and other services that support young mothers. It will also consider the needs of younger women when accessing perinatal mental health services.