All pregnant mums in Stoke-on-Trent can claim free Healthy Start vitamins to support them through pregnancy and breastfeeding.
As part of a universal offer, anyone in Stoke-on-Trent who is pregnant is being offered the vitamins on top of the usual Healthy Start Scheme. Pregnant and breastfeeding women may not get enough vitamin D or folic acid and both vitamins are important for the health of both mums and babies. The vitamins are available from midwives, health visitors or Family Hubs.
As well as free vitamins for anyone who is pregnant, residents may be eligible for the Healthy Start Scheme - a government funded, NHS initiative that provides support to anyone who is pregnant or has a child under the age of four. The scheme provides payment to contribute towards cow’s milk, fresh, frozen or tinned fruit and vegetables, infant formula milk and fresh, dried and tinned pulses.
To qualify for the Healthy Start scheme, individuals must be at least 10 weeks pregnant or have at least one child under 4. In addition, they must be receiving any of the following:
- Child Tax Credit (only if household annual income is £16,190 or less)
- Income support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s allowance
- Pension Credit (which includes the child addition)
- Universal Credit (only if household take-home pay is £408 or less per month from employment)
Those who are also eligible for Healthy Start include:
- Individuals who are under 18 and pregnant, even if they are not claiming any benefits
- Individuals who claim income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and are over 10 weeks pregnant
- Individuals or partners who receive Working Tax Credit run-on only
- £4.25 each week of your pregnancy from the 10th week
- £8.50 each week for children from birth to 1 year old
- £4.25 each week for children between 1 and 4 years old
Claire Bailey, Managing Director of Children and Families services at Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, who run the 0-19 integrated Health Visiting and School Nursing service in Stoke-on-Trent said: “For pregnant and breastfeeding women there is such significant value in supplementing daily food intake with Healthy Start Vitamins. It is great to be working in partnership with Stoke-on-Trent City Council on such an important initiative.”
Councillor Lorraine Beardmore, cabinet member for culture, leisure and public health said: “It’s fantastic that we’re able to offer the Healthy Start vitamins to all pregnant mums here in Stoke-on-Trent. Eating well is really important but especially for anyone who is pregnant we know it’s really important to get enough vitamin D and folic acid.
“I’d encourage anyone who is pregnant to collect the free vitamins from their midwife, health visitor or local Family Hub.”
Residents can find more information on Healthy Start Vitamins and the Healthy Start scheme by going to www.stoke.gov.uk/healthystart.