There are national guidelines which recognize the special needs of women with bipolar disorder from pre-pregnancy through to postpartum care, such as the NICE ‘Antenatal and Postnatal Mental Health’ Guideline.

These guidelines were published in 2007 and is currently being revised.

There is also a useful guide to good practice produced by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in 2011.

Unfortunately, the guidelines represent advice on best practice; they are not enforceable in all health authorities but even if they are not being followed in your local area, they provide you with ammunition to argue for a decent standard of care.

This is also the reason why Bipolar UK is a member of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance (MMHA) so we can campaign for an end to the current postcode lottery in maternal mental health services.