Perinatal Mental Health
In July 2018, Lancashire Care will open a new eight-bed mother and baby unit (MBU) for Cumbria and Lancashire. The unit will be an inpatient facility for mothers with serious mental health problems to stay with their babies, and will be located in Chorley.
Lancashire Care is one of only four organisations in the country chosen by NHS England to provide one of the new units.
The unit will provide care for women experiencing severe mental health problems or who may be at high risk of becoming mentally unwell in the perinatal period, including very serious conditions such as postpartum psychosis. Treatment and recovery will be provided for mothers while allowing their relationships with their babies to develop. The unit will be staffed by multidisciplinary teams across psychiatry, nursing, nursery care, psychology and OT.
Perinatal mental illnesses are a major public health issue. Between 10 and 20% of women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or within the first year after having a baby. With this in mind it is extremely important that people with the most serious or severe illness have access to specialist perinatal mother and baby units.
At the moment, women who have serious mental health needs following the birth of their baby are cared for in one of two ways. They are supported outside the county in a specialist Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) or would be admitted to a general adult psychiatric ward, but would have to be separated from their new born child. The nearest unit where women from Lancashire can be cared for with their baby is in Wythenshawe, Manchester.
A new MBU in Cumbria and Lancashire means that we can provide the support and treatment that mums need, in an accessible central location, and that they can continue to be with their babies. This is a huge step forward for everyone involved in perinatal mental health across Cumbria and Lancashire.
We will be posting regular updates on this page about the progress of our plans and how you can be involved, so please bookmark the page and keep checking in.
We have also set up a closed Facebook group where you can share your experiences and where we can encourage discussions about our plans for the unit. If you would like to join the group, please email your details to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are looking for information or support concerning maternal mental health, and particularly in relation to postpartum psychosis, we are working closely with the organisation Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP). APP’s online forum contains a wealth of discussion topics and gives you the opportunity to ask questions and learn from others’ experiences of postpartum psychosis.
APP’s website is www.app-network.org where you can read their Insider Guides and other news and information which you might find helpful.
Other sources of help and information include: