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Ten questions on perinatal mental health

Content developed by MIMS Learning


This activity explores the practical implications for primary care of the NICE guideline CG192 Antenatal and postnatal mental health, presenting ten questions for to ask yourself about perinatal mental health. The activity highlights the recommendations relevant to primary care from the guideline, and has been developed by the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Maternal Mental Health Alliance to raise awareness and support implementation of the NICE guideline in primary care. This resource is not RCGP guidance: it is an implementation tool and should be used alongside the published NICE guidance.


After reading this activity healthcare professionals should be better able to:

  • Understand why perinatal mental health is important
  • Know what questions to ask to detect perinatal mental illness
  • List red flags indicating greater risk of serious mental health problems
  • Know where to find NICE guidance on prescribing psychotropic medication


Dr Judy Shakespeare, Clinical champion for perinatal mental health, Royal College of General Practitioners

Using clinical judgment

Clinicians are expected to take NICE recommendations fully into account when exercising their clinical judgment. However, in no circumstances does guidance override their responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of each individual, in consultation with the individual and/or their guardian or carer. Clinical guidelines are based on the best available evidence and are there to help healthcare professionals in their work, but they do not replace their knowledge and skills.

NB. It is essential that general practice nurses practise within their competence. If the care of women in pregnancy or postnatally is outside your expertise, you must refer to a GP or other healthcare professional.