The Women and Families Maternal Mental Health Pledge sets out what to expect from the NHS in Scotland if you're pregnant and have mental health problems.

The pledge:

  • was created by woman with lived experience of perinatal mental illness
  • will help to improve care for women, their infants and families throughout Scotland

Mental health

More than 1 in 5 women will experience mental health problems in pregnancy or the first postnatal year.

Your care needs at this time are different than at any other time. Good care doesn't just benefit you, it also benefits:

  • your growing baby
  • your partner
  • other family members

More about mental health and wellbeing in pregnancy

What to expect from the NHS in Scotland

You can expect:

  1. to be fully involved, and at the centre of your care, so that you have the information you need to make the best decisions for you, your pregnancy and your infant’s future health
  2. to be confident that staff who assess and care for you will have the appropriate level of knowledge and skills
  3. to receive preconception and pregnancy advice and care if you have a pre-existing mental health problem
  4. to receive expert advice and care about your maternal mental health when you require it, wherever you live in Scotland
  5. to have rapid access to talking therapies during your pregnancy and postnatal period
  6. to openly discuss your maternal mental health without fear of stigma or of being judged
  7. your family are given the information and support they need to help you and to get help for themselves
  8. to be confident your baby will have parents who are supported with their mental health

The Mental Health (Scotland) Act (2015) gives you the right to be admitted to a specialist mother and baby unit, jointly with your infant, if you need inpatient mental health care.