All pregnant women in Scotland are now entitled to free Healthy Start supplements containing folic acid, vitamin D and vitamin C
HSIS welcomes this eminently sensible move by the Scottish Government which is aimed at improving the health of parents and children and hopes that the Governments in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will soon follow suit.
Prior to 1st April 2017 Healthy Start vitamins were only freely available to women and children from families receiving means-tested benefits.
On announcing the intention to roll out the entitlement to all pregnant women in Scotland the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said: “Every child deserves a fair and equal chance and offering all pregnant women vitamins sends a strong signal that, right from the very start of life, we are doing all we can to help.
“There is strong evidence that taking vitamins in pregnancy improves both the mother and baby’s health and providing free vitamins, to all pregnant women, has the widespread support of healthcare professionals.”
The free Healthy Start supplements, which pregnant women will be able to obtain from community pharmacies, dispensing practices, and some midwives and health visitors contain:
Dietitian, Dr Carrie Ruxton from the Health and Food Supplements Information Service comments: “It is extremely encouraging to see the vital role of micronutrients such as folic acid, vitamin C and vitamin D being recognised in national policies such as this. There is a growing and compelling body of evidence to support the benefits of a range of vitamins and minerals that many people are not fully getting from their diets alone.”
HSIS (the Health and Food Supplements Information Service) is a communication service providing accurate and balanced information on vitamins, minerals and other food supplements to the media and to health professionals working in the field of diet and nutrition.