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This section of the early years website covers the key areas of pregnancy (and issues related to pregnancy) and maternal health in relation to the early years.

The importance of pregnancy in the early years agenda

The Scottish Government’s Early Years Framework defines early years as pre-birth to eight years old. This broad definition of early years to include pre-birth is in recognition of the importance of pregnancy in influencing outcomes for children. Evidence shows that the impact of the antenatal stage can affect outcomes, for example health and educational, throughout the entire lifespan of an individual.

Women and children in Scotland have diverse needs and can be supported to achieve their full potential through services being provided tailored to individual need.

Maternity services have a key role to play in identifying women’s medical, obstetric and social needs in order to provide holistic support.  As women’s needs are diverse it is essential that maternity services work in partnership with women and other services and organisations to respond to women’s needs in order to ensure the best possible outcomes for mother and child.