Treatment and care should take into account the woman's individual needs and preferences. Women with mental disorders during pregnancy or the postnatal period should have the opportunity to make informed decisions about their care and treatment in partnership with their healthcare professionals. If women do not have the capacity to make decisions, healthcare professionals should follow the Department of Health's advice on consent and the code of practice that accompanies the Mental Capacity Act. In Wales, healthcare professionals should follow advice on consent from the Welsh Government.
Good communication between healthcare professionals and women, and their partners, families and carers, is essential. It should be supported by evidence-based written information tailored to the woman's needs. The treatment and care, and information women are given about it, should be culturally appropriate. It should also be accessible to people with additional needs such as physical, sensory or learning disabilities, and to people who do not speak or read English.
Carers and relatives should have the opportunity to be involved in decisions about the woman's care and treatment, unless the woman specifically excludes them.
Carers and relatives should also be given the information and support they need.