Mother and Baby Units
Most women with postnatal depression will be successfully treated and supported by services in her local community. In some cases however the depression is severe enough to warrant admission to hospital. It is now widely accepted that a woman requiring an admission to hospital will have a better recovery and a more positive relationship with her baby if she is admitted with her baby. If she is incapable of caring for her baby or severely unwell (such as Postnatal Psychosis) she is likely to be admitted to a general adult psychiatric facility. Otherwise this is not an appropriate environment for the baby and does not have the requisite parenting facilities or specialist expertise.
A Mother and Baby Unit is a special unit within a public or private hospital facility. The Unit usually has a number of single rooms where the mother and baby are admitted together. The mother receives psychiatric assessment and treatment that will ensure she will be on the road to recovery. The safe and calm environment also provides the essential support she needs to be able to look after her baby and strengthen her relationship with her baby. Length of stay will vary depending on the situation.
Leaving the safety of a Mother and Baby Unit and returning to home where life was difficult can be very stressful. The hospital staff will work with the mother during her admission to link her up with community support services to make this transition as smooth as possible. PANDA can also provide telephone support and assistance to build a local support network.