Key Recommendations

Sadly, mental health problems are a leading cause of maternal mortality. Most of these deaths are preventable with prompt, effective and supportive care and treatment.

Janet Flaherty, Head of Communications, East London NHS Foundation Trust

Break the Silence - PNI campaigns for the implementation of C.A.R.E. recommendations, namely that throughout the UK, there will be:

  • C.onsultant psychiatrists - nominated in all areas of the UK to develop and lead local strategies for addressing postnatal mental illness
  • A.ccess for all women, regardless of where they live, to a specialised mother and baby unit in the event that hospitalisation is required
  • R.isk assessments for all women at initial pregnancy booking appointment
  • E.stablishment of a multi-disciplinary perinatal mental health teams in all areas of the UK


Break the Silence PNI draws each of its individual C.A.R.E. recommendations from recent research and reports representing the most informed thinking to date in the field of postnatal mental health care. To read recommendations in full, please click here.


Women who need inpatient care for a mental disorder within 12 months of childbirth should be admitted to a specialist Mother and Baby unit

NICE Antenatal & Postnatal Mental Health guidelines (2007)

At the woman's first contact with primary care, at her booking visit and postnatally (usually at 4 to 6 weeks and 3 to 4 months), healthcare professionals (including midwives, obstetricians, health visitors and GPs) should ask two questions to identify possible depression.

NICE Antenatal & Postnatal Mental Health guidelines (2007)

...networks should provide: a specialist multidisciplinary perinatal service in each locality, which provides direct services, consultation and advice to maternity services, other mental health services and community services

NICE Antenatal & Postnatal Mental Health guidelines (2007)


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