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Eligible families urged to apply for Pregnancy and Baby payment

Campaign launched in “baby boom” months

Families have been urged to apply at the earliest opportunity for Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment in Scotland’s “baby boom” months.

Figures from National Records Scotland showed that August, September and October produced the highest number of births per month in 2022.

There were more than 4000 babies born in each of these months last year against an overall monthly average of 3882.

On a visit to Dr Bell’s family centre in Leith, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice Shirley-Anne Somerville said she wanted to encourage families expecting a new arrival to make sure they are getting all help available to them.

The Cabinet Secretary’s visit comes as Social Security Scotland launches a new digital marketing campaign to raise awareness of the payment.

Pregnancy and Baby Payment, which is £707.25 for first children and £353.65 for subsequent births, is the first Scottish Government benefit many people apply for.

There is no cap on the number of children a family can receive Pregnancy and Baby Payments for, if eligible.

Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“We want eligible families to apply as early as possible for Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby payment and become aware of the range of support which may be available.

“We know that the next few weeks and months are exciting times for lots of families.

“The payment for a first child is more than £700 at a time of high inflation with the costs of buying food and clothes and all the other things which come with looking after a new born.

“There’s no cap on this benefit – every eligible family can get a Best Start Grant for every child they have.

“our package of five family payments – Scottish Child Payment, Best Start Foods and the three Best Start Grants – can be worth around £10,000 by the time a child turns six and more than £20,000 by the time they turn 16.”

Danielle Campbell, Chief Executive of Dr Bell’s Family Centre said:

“Dr Bell’s supports families from the beginning of their pregnancy journey and beyond.

“It is vital that mums-to-be and new parents know what support they can receive from as early as possible so that no parent is left struggling as this can impact their mental health and wellbeing.

“Our team work closely with Social Security Scotland to make sure that we are able to provide the right information and support in relation to the Best Start Grant Pregnancy & Baby Payment.”


Tackling poverty and protecting people from harm is one of three critical missions for the Scottish Government and it will continue to tackle child poverty via its second child poverty delivery plan for 2022-26, Best Start Bright Futures.

Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment helps with the costs of having a baby and can be applied for from the end of the 24th week of pregnancy until a baby turns six months old. If your baby is born before 24 weeks applications can be made from that date. The payment also provides support for people who have had a stillbirth.

People who have taken over looking after a child, including those who have adopted, can apply up to the day before the child’s first birthday.

Further information about the payment and other Best Start Grants can be found here: Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods –

National Records of Scotland statistics on 2022 births can be found here: Vital Events – General Publications | National Records of Scotland (

Among the help offered by the Scottish Government to families of new borns, Scotland’s Baby Box provides families with a range of essential items for the first six months of their baby’s life, delivered in a sturdy cardboard box which can be used as a safe sleeping space during the early months. The contents of the box are designed to inform and support positive parenting behaviours.

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