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Exploring the cost of the pregnancy pathway

Date: September 2020
Category: Report
Author: Menekse Suphi, Rachel Bishop and Alison Miller at Scott Porter Research & Marketing Ltd

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The relationship between lack of material resources and poor health, including during pregnancy, is well established, and the birth of a new baby can result in those close to the poverty line falling below it.  

Evidence shows that there can be cost-related barriers to accessing universally provided, and free at the point of access services. This commissioned qualitative research by GCPH, NHS Health Scotland (now Public Health Scotland), NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde and NHS Ayrshire & Arran, explores the financial impacts of pregnancy for expectant and new families on low-incomes in the two respective NHS Board areas.

It set out to establish what cost-related barriers existed in accessing antenatal healthcare and explore what health services can do to support the financial wellbeing of expectant parents and their families. The findings will be used to inform the development of strategies to better support low-income families during pregnancy and into the early stage of family life.