NHS cuts antenatal support

Support for pregnant women is being cut because of the NHS's financial troubles, a healthcare charity has warned.

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The National Childbirth Trust (NCT) says it is receiving “increasing reports” that NHS antenatal classes, breastfeeding services and postnatal visits are being cancelled.

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The NCT said it also understood that postnatal home visits have been stopped or are facing cuts in certain counties, which would mean new mothers have to travel to a clinic in order to receive after-birth care.

An NCT spokeswoman said: “The NCT is concerned that these short-term measures to ease financial deficits are having a negative effect on new parents and parents-to-be, preventing them from getting the information and support they need at this important stage in their lives.”

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The Department of Health said it expected local NHS trusts to follow guidelines set down in the children’s national service framework which says good antenatal care will include access to parenting education and preparation for birth “as classes or through other means”.

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