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Understanding NICE guidance
Information for people who use NHS services


Mental health problems during
pregnancy and after giving birth
NICE `clinical This booklet is about the care and treatment of women with mental health
guidelines' advise problems in the antenatal period (during pregnancy) and in the postnatal
the NHS on…

Page 2

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Contents
Your care 3
Mental health problems during pregnancy and after giving birth 4
Recognising mental health problems during pregnancy and 5
after giving birth
General advice on treating mental health problems during 7
pregnancy and after giving birth
Advice on treating specific mental health problems during 10
pregnancy and…

Page 3

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Your care
Your treatment and care should take into account your personal needs
and preferences, and you have the right to be fully informed and to make
decisions in partnership with your healthcare team. If you have or develop
a mental health problem while planning a pregnancy, during pregnancy, or…

Page 4

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If you are under 16 and you fully understand the information you are
given, you may be able to decide about your own treatment. If there are
treatments that you do not want, tell your doctor. If you are too young or
you have not fully understood the information about…

Page 5

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Recognising mental health problems during
pregnancy and after giving birth
Pregnancy and the first year after giving birth are periods of great
adjustment. Emotions and social, financial and physical demands can be
difficult to manage. You may feel more anxious and `down' than usual,
so healthcare professionals (including your midwife,…

Page 6

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If you have, or have ever had, a severe mental illness, your healthcare
professional should develop with you (and if appropriate, your family and
carers) a written care plan in the first 3 months of your pregnancy. The
plan should cover treatment and care during pregnancy, giving birth and
the…

Page 7

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General advice on treating mental health problems
during pregnancy and after giving birth
As far as possible you should see the same healthcare professionals at
different stages of your pregnancy and after your baby is born. All the
healthcare professionals involved in your care should keep each other
informed about…

Page 8

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Contraception
If you are taking medication for a mental health problem and are at
an age when you could become pregnant, your doctor should talk
to you about contraception and the risks involved in having a baby.
If you are planning to have a baby you should discuss this with…

Page 9

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Questions you could ask about treatments
· Why have you decided to offer me this particular treatment?
· What will the treatment involve?
· Are there any risks for me or my baby associated with this
treatment, and if so are there ways of reducing these risks?
· How long…

Page 10

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Advice on treating specific mental health problems
during pregnancy and after giving birth
Treatment for mental health problems during pregnancy and after
giving birth will be similar to treatment at other times. Your healthcare
If it appears
professionals should follow the guidelines that NICE has produced on
that treatments specific…

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