antenatal screening programme

Psychiatric illness

Mental health is about how we think, feel and behave. One in four people in the UK have a mental health problem (or psychiatric illness) at some point in their lives. Mental illness can affect a person's daily life, relationships or physical health.

Read more about mental health problems in pregnancy 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 antenatal and postnatal mental health in pregnancy and new mothers is not recommended. This is because:

  • the accuracy of the screening tests is unclear
  • there is no clear guidance on the best way to treat different mental health problems before and after birth

Antenatal screening should be offered to women who have a history of psychiatric illness.

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 & 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 Psychiatric illness

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.