Antenatal care

NICE guidelines [CG62] Published date:

Woman-centred care

Woman-centred care

This guideline offers best practice advice on the care of healthy pregnant women.

Women, their partners and their families should always be treated with kindness, respect and dignity. The views, beliefs and values of the woman, her partner and her family in relation to her care and that of her baby should be sought and respected at all times.

Women 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 is essential. It should be supported by evidence-based, written information tailored to the woman's needs. Care and information should be culturally appropriate. All information should also be accessible to women with additional needs such as physical, sensory or learning disabilities, and to women who do not speak or read English.

Every opportunity should be taken to provide the woman and her partner or other relevant family members with the information and support they need.

NICE has accredited the process used by the Centre for Clinical Practice at NICE to produce guidelines. Accreditation is valid for 5 years from September 2009 and applies to guidelines produced since April 2007 using the processes described in NICE's 'The guidelines manual' (2007, updated 2009). More information on accreditation can be viewed at www.nice.org.uk/accreditation
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