Quality standard

This quality standard covers care for healthy women and their babies during pregnancy (up to 42 weeks). It covers routine antenatal care in primary, community and hospital settings. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.

It includes checking for complications, but does not cover additional care for women with complications of pregnancy (for example, gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia and venous thromboembolism).

The quality standard uses the terms 'woman' or 'mother' throughout. These should be taken to include people who do not identify as women but who are pregnant.

NICE has also published quality standards on diabetes in pregnancy, hypertension in pregnancy, venous thromboembolism in adults, antenatal and postnatal mental health, multiple pregnancy and inducing labour.

In August 2021, changes were made to align this quality standard with the updated NICE guideline on antenatal care. For more information see update information.

How to use NICE quality standards and how we develop them

Quality standards help you improve the quality of care you provide or commission. They apply in England and Wales (see the UK government website and Welsh government website). Decisions on how they apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland are made by ministers in the Scottish government and Northern Ireland Executive.

Find out how to use quality standards and how we develop them. We check our quality standards every August to make sure they are up to date.