antenatal screening programme
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
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.
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
- Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services
- Faculty of Public Health
- Insitute of Health Visiting
- Royal College of General Practitioners
- Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
- Royal College of Physicians
- Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
- Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh
- Royal College of Psychiatrists
- The British Psychological Society