A GROWING number of Scottish women are avoiding alcohol completely during pregnancy, a major study has found.
There are also more parents who regularly read to their children, according to the Growing Up in Scotland (GUS) study, published today.
It looked at life as a 10-month-old child in Scotland in 2011. It found that compared with a previous cohort of young families six years ago, more mothers completely avoided alcohol during pregnancy.
There was also a high level of satisfaction with the services of health visitors, while 85 per cent of parents said their employer had at least one family friendly policy and fewer children had accidents which required treatment.
Minister for Children and Young People Aileen Campbell said: “This study shows progress and provides us with the unique evidence we need to help make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up. We are doing all we can to make sure our children get the best possible start in life and we are clear that much more could be achieved with full fiscal powers.
“We have invested £18 million to support families through the Early Years Change Fund and an additional £11 million which will next year help treble the capacity of the Family Nurse Partnership to support first time mothers.
“Improvements to maternity care will be delivered through the Scottish Patient Safety Programme beginning in March this year and aiming to reduce inequalities and deliver care that meet individual needs.”