Maternity records: developing standards

Record Keeping

The Professional Record Standards Body is seeking views from women who use maternity services, parents, health and care professionals and industry representatives on draft standards specifying which clinical information should be recorded and shared in maternity records.  The final standard will help people involved in women’s maternity care, and women themselves, to share information quickly and easily.

More details and survey link available here


Developing a Perinatal Mental Health Indicator in England (PMHI)


The National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU) has updated information about their work on developing a perinatal mental health indicator in England (PMHI). Four indicators have been selected: the Apex indicator; contact with mental health professional during perinatal period; attended contact with Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) during perinatal period; and perinatal IAPT referrals showing reliable improvement/recovery.

The Apex indicator will require new data collection and is thus several years away from implementation. The other three indicators could in principle be created now and adoption depends on the wishes and needs of policy makers. The overarching purpose of the indicator set is: to ensure that maternity and postnatal care services are identifying women with perinatal mental health problems, offering appropriate and accessible mental health services and achieving outcomes acceptable to women and clinicians which minimises potential harms to the woman, her family and the development of her child.

More information available here

Unicef UK Guide to the Baby Friendly Initiative standards


The Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative standards provide a roadmap for services to improve care. Through the staged accreditation programme, health professionals are enabled to support all mothers with feeding and to help parents to build a close and loving relationship with their baby. Newly redesigned in 2017, this guide now includes new Achieving Sustainability standards, designed to support services to maintain high standards of care for the longer term.

Download the standards here

Over 1 in 10 women have depression during pregnancy or postnatally

Depression pexels-photo-262102
Image Source: Pexels

This Mental Elf blog post is about a recent systematic review and meta-regression of the prevalence and incidence of perinatal depression. The blogger concludes that the systematic review estimated that the prevalence of perinatal depression is approximately 12%. Estimates of prevalence are important for increasing awareness of depression during pregnancy and the postnatal period, and informing the allocation of health resources. In particular, this study highlights that depression is equally prevalent during pregnancy as in the postnatal period, and that there is a higher prevalence of perinatal depression in low and middle income countries than in high income countries.


Woody C, Ferrari A, Siskind D, Whiteford H, Harris M. (2017) A systematic review and meta-regression of the prevalence and incidence of perinatal depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, Volume 219, 86-92.

Read the Mental Elf blog post here