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Concluding Remarks

The 2017 Scottish Maternal and Infant Nutrition Survey has gathered vital information on maternal nutrition, breastfeeding, infant feeding and related health behaviours. The Scottish Government requires this information to support the implementation of the Maternal and Infant Nutrition Framework for Action (2011). ( R1)

The Scottish Maternal and Infant Nutrition Survey has gathered information on:

  • Nutritional and health adjustments made by respondents both preconception and during pregnancy.
  • Factors associated with mothers' feeding intentions and feeding practices adopted in the early weeks.
  • The types of breastfeeding challenges experienced by mothers and their reasons for stopping breastfeeding.
  • The use of infant formula including infant formula preparation and methods used for cleaning and sterilising formula feeding equipment.
  • The introduction of complementary foods to infants and mothers' experiences of receiving information in relation to this.
  • Awareness of, and registration on, the Healthy Start Scheme and understand how Healthy Start vouchers are being used.
  • Variations in practice amongst different population groups.

The survey findings provide valuable insights into the way that women in Scotland plan and prepare for pregnancy, particularly the extent to which they take recommended actions prior to and during pregnancy. It also provides a wealth of information on maternal and infant nutrition in Scotland, particularly around infant feeding choices and the reasons survey respondents had for making these decisions. The survey findings also highlight important differences between the behaviours, choices and experiences of different groups within the population.

The information obtained via the survey will be used by the Scottish Government to assess where key policy issues are having an impact and where public health messaging could be further refined and tailored, particularly to different population groups. This will also assist health services and other partner organisations to design and implement nutritional advice and support for families.


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