Information for the public

About this information

NICE guidelines provide advice on the care and support that should be offered to people who use health and care services.

In February 2020, we updated the advice in our guideline on maternal health during pregnancy and the first year after giving birth with warnings about sodium valproate – a medicine offered to some people with a mental health problem. Sodium valproate must not be used during pregnancy, and should not be used in girls and women who could get pregnant, unless there is no alternative and a pregnancy prevention plan is in place. This is because of the risk of malformations and developmental abnormalities in the baby.

This information explains the advice about mental health in pregnancy and the year after giving birth that is set out in NICE guideline 192.

This is an update of advice that NICE produced in 2007.

Does this information apply to me?

Yes, if you:

  • are planning to have a baby, or

  • are pregnant, or

  • have had a baby or been pregnant in the past year.

  • Information Standard