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Important information for social workers supporting and working with women and pregnancy

Dr Jonathan Sher has recently completed two independent national reports which may be of interest to social workers working with women and pregnancy, particularly when social workers are assessing need or indeed risk. The information may help social workers gain a better understanding of this complex, but crucially important area of practice and support. The reports were commissioned by NHS GG&C's Public Health Director, Dr Linda de Caestecker (currently on a year's secondment as Deputy Director of the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics). These are reports to – not official policy statements by – NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. An appropriate disclaimer appears in each report.

The main report -- Missed Periods: Scotland's opportunities for better pregnancies, healthier parents and thriving babies the first time . . . and every time -- can be accessed at: http://www.nhsggc.org.uk/media/237840/missed-periods-j-sher-may-2016.pdf. This 35-page 'Plain English' report (including links to extensive references and international resources) is an evidence-based distillation of a vast and complex field. They deal with mental health, as well as physical health; take a 'life course' approach; deal with interconception (next pregnancy), as well as first-birth preconception; and, highlight such 'blind spots' as fetal alcohol harm (FASD).

Prepared for Pregnancy?: Preconception health, education and care in Scotland -- is an introduction and overview . It is available at: http://www.nhsggc.org.uk/media/237841/prepared-for-pregnancy-j-sher-may-2016.pdf. This also includes the advance reviews by a leading public health professor in Scotland and the senior advisor on preconception health to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Scotland's Chief Medical Officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood