NCT response: Improving Maternal and Infant Nutrition

Released on: 19 July 2011

The Scottish Government is launching the Maternal and Infant Nutrition Strategy at the Best Start conference on 18 January 2011. The strategy is aimed at organisations with a role in improving maternal and infant nutrition in Scotland. Partner organisations include the NHS, local authorities, employers, the community and voluntary sector. NCT was involved in helping to develop the thinking behind the Strategy.

Rosie Dodds, Senior Policy Adviser, NCT, says:


“It is good to see recognition that public health policies and legislation affect the culture of support for breastfeeding. More needs to be done to design services so they are attractive and welcoming to families with additional needs such as young parents, parents with learning difficulties, those from minority ethnic groups and living in areas of social deprivation.


“The Framework recognises strong leadership will form an essential element of the success of the strategy. NCT has called for the Maternal and Infant Nutrition Co-ordinator to be of sufficient seniority to ensure the ideas are put into place effectively on the ground in a way that works for parents, with an appointment for a period longer than two years.


“We look forward to working with the Scottish Government on implementation, for instance in developing peer support for breastfeeding and monitoring the WHO Code.”



The new Framework for Action on Maternal and Infant Nutrition includes:


  • Accessible, relevant, non-judgemental practical support and information on nutrition antenatally for all women and their partners.
  • Plans to improve breastfeeding rates, including peer support nationally and all maternity hospitals to maintain Baby Friendly standards.
  • More emphasis on nutrition within the Curriculum for Excellence in schools and resources for teachers.
  • Improved training on nutrition for health professionals.
  • Implementation of the WHO Code in all public sector organisations.