A health visitor with a mother and new-born baby, c 1920s.
In 1915 the Notification of Births (Extension) Act allowed local authorities to "make such arrangement as they see fit... for attending to the health of expectant mothers and nursing mothers and of children under five years of age". Such new arrangements were clearly needed. The 1911 there were 115,519 children under the age of five in Glasgow (one fifth of all under-fives in Scotland) and yet only twelve full-time health workers were employed in the city.
In 1917 the Public Health Department drew up plans to establish fourteen Infant and Child Welfare Centres across the city to offer "infant and child consultation," and a team of health visitors was formed to visit mothers and children in their homes, concentrating on the poorest areas. The existing team of twelve staff was to be "increased as required" although at first most of the home visits were carried out by volunteers.
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums
ante-natal care, babies, First World War, health care, health visitors, Infant and Child Welfare Centres, Medical Officers of Health, Notification of Births (Extension) Act, paediatrics, pre-natal care, shawls, women