Health watchdog calls for pregnancy clinics in schools
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) is calling for schools to introduce a antenatal facility which would involve midwives visiting schools to offer advice and carry out health checks on expectant young mothers.
Nice have said that their evidence suggests pregnant women under the age of 20 often feel excluded from mainstream antenatal care and feel like they are judged by their peers. Often young women may be reluctant to recognise their pregnancy for fear of embarrassment and because they are concerned about reactions from family and friends.
The new scheme would be aimed at women from deprived backgrounds, including those suffering domestic abuse, drug or alcohol abuse and women who have difficulty with written and spoken English.
Dr Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive of Nice has said these services should be focused on schools in which teen pregnancy was an issue as these women may struggle to gain access to the right information such as what foods they should be avoiding etc.
Louise Silverton, deputy general secretary of the Royal College of Midwives has said that implementing this new scheme would require extra funding and extra staff which is not available in the current context of cutbacks in NHS spending but she also says they are pleased to see the recommendations and believe that it is a step in the right direction.
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