antenatal screening programme

Postnatal depression

As many as eight out of 10 women get what's known as the 'baby blues'. It normally begins within a few days of the birth. Women who become more unhappy or upset, or have symptoms that last over a week, they may have postnatal depression. Postnatal depression affects one in 10 new mothers.

Read more about postnatal depression on the NHS website.

UK NSC screening recommendation Based on the last UK NSC review of this condition that occurred in April 2019.

Screening is not currently recommended for this condition.

Screening for postnatal depression in new mothers is not recommended. This is because:

  • there is no accurate screening test
  • it is not known if screening and treatment would improve health outcomes for mothers or babies

Health professionals should be aware of the possibility of postnatal depression in new mothers. Current guidance should be referred to when managing the condition.

Supporting documents from the 2019 review

Evidence summary Antenatal and postnatal mental health (2019)
This document provides the evidence on which the current UK NSC recommendation is based.

UK NSC coversheet & consultation responses antenatal and postnatal mental health (2019)
This document summarises the review process including the public consultation comments.

Review cycle

Date previous review completed: 2019

Next review estimated to be completed: 2022 to 2023.

To see previous evidence reviews, visit the UK NSC archive.

Organisations interested in Postnatal depression

These organisations have expressed interest in this recommendation and may submit responses to evidence reviews.

List of organisations

If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us. More information for organisation can be found in appendix C of the UK NSC evidence review process.