Quality standard

This quality standard covers routine postnatal care in the first 8 weeks after birth. It describes high-quality care in priority areas for improvement.

The quality standard uses the term 'woman' or 'mother' and includes all people who have given birth, even if they may not identify as women or mothers. The term ‘partner’ refers to the woman’s chosen supporter. This could be the baby's father, the woman’s partner, a family member or friend, or anyone who they feel supported by or wish to involve. The term 'parents' refers to those with the main responsibility for the care of a baby. This will often be the mother and the father, but many other family arrangements exist, including single parents.

NICE has also published a quality standard on antenatal and postnatal mental health.

In September 2022, this quality standard was updated and replaced the previous version published in 2013. The topic was identified for update following the annual review of quality standards. The review identified updated guidance on postnatal care, and statements prioritised in 2013 were updated or replaced. 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.