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Management of perinatal mood disorders

Mood disorders have a particular relationship with pregnancy and the postnatal period. Depressive and anxiety disorders are common and are linked to adverse developmental outcomes for infants.

Remit and target users

The guideline provides recommendations based on current evidence for best practice in the management of antenatal and postnatal mood and anxiety disorders, including depression, anxiety and postpartum psychosis. The guideline covers prediction, detection and prevention, management in both primary and secondary care, including the use of psychotropic medications in pregnancy and breastfeeding.

The guideline will be of interest to midwives, health visitors, clinical psychologists, community mental health services, general practitioners, pharmacists, obstetricians and psychiatrists, with other community agencies, such as voluntary organisations and social services

How this guideline was developed

This guideline was developed using a standard methodology based on a systematic review of the evidence. Further details can be found in SIGN 50: A Guideline Developer’s Handbook.

Keeping up to date

This guideline was issued in 2012 and will be considered for review in three years. The review history, and any updates to the guideline in the interim period, will be noted in the review report.

If you are aware of any new evidence that would update this guideline please complete a change request form and return to:

Current 3-7 years

Some recommendations may be out of  date, declaration of interests governance may not be in line with current policy.


Full guideline (PDF)

Quick reference guide (PDF)

Audit tools

Apple app

Android app

Supporting material

Declarations of interest (PDF)

Search narrative (PDF)

Copyright permission (PDF)

Patient publications

Podcast: Dr. Roch Cantwell, Chair of the Guideline Development Group discussing the guideline

Contact us

SIGN 127, March 2012
ISBN 978 1 905813 86 5

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