Maternal Mental Health


The Whooley questions were introduced by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE 2007) when they reviewed their guidelines for Antenatal and Postnatal Mental Health. You can expect to be asked these questions at regular intervals by health professionals both antenatally and postnatally.

The questions are a screening tool which is designed to try and identify two symptoms that may be present in depression.

NICE recommends that health care professionals ask two questions at a woman’s booking visit with the midwife, twice more during pregnancy, at the health visitor’s first visit, six weeks post natal, three months postnatal, and eight months to one year postnatal.

The questions are as follows:

During the past month have you often been bothered by feeling down, depressed or hopeless?


During the past month have you often been bothered by little interest or pleasure in doing things?


If you feel this is something you would like further support with, please contact your health visitor or GP.

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A third question should be considered if a woman answers “yes” to either of the initial questions.

3. Is this something you feels you need or want help with?

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