This guideline offers best practice advice on the recognition, care and treatment of mental health problems in women during pregnancy and the postnatal period (up to 1 year after childbirth). It also offers advice on the care of women with an existing mental health problem who are planning a pregnancy.
Women and healthcare professionals have rights and responsibilities as set out in the NHS Constitution for England – all NICE guidance is written to reflect these. Treatment and care should take into account individual needs and preferences. Women should have the opportunity to make informed decisions about their care and treatment, in partnership with their healthcare professionals. If the service user is under 16, their family or carers should also be given information and support to help the child or young person to make decisions about their treatment. Healthcare professionals should follow the Department of Health's advice on consent. If someone does not have the capacity to make decisions, healthcare professionals should follow the code of practice that accompanies the Mental Capacity Act and the supplementary code of practice on deprivation of liberty safeguards.
NICE has produced guidance on the components of good patient experience in adult NHS services. All healthcare professionals should follow the recommendations in patient experience in adult NHS services.
NICE has also produced guidance on the components of good service user experience. All healthcare professionals and social care practitioners working with people using adult NHS mental health services should follow the recommendations in service user experience in adult mental health.
If a young person is moving between child and adolescent mental health services and adult mental health services, care should be planned and managed according to the best practice guidance described in the Department of Health's Transition: getting it right for young people.
Adult, neonatal and child healthcare teams should work jointly to provide assessment and services during pregnancy and the postnatal period for women with mental health problems and their babies. Diagnosis and management should be reviewed throughout the transition process, and there should be clarity about who is the lead clinician to ensure continuity of care.