Perinatal Mental Health

Lancashire Care has been chosen to run one of four new eight-bed Mother and Baby Units (MBU) in the country. The unit will be an inpatient facility for mothers with serious mental health problems to stay with their babies.

The perinatal unit is planned to be located in central Lancashire and will be fully operational in early autumn.

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 post-partum 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 and nursery care.

Perinatal mental illnesses are a major public health issue with between 10 and 20% of women developing a mental illness during pregnancy or within the first year after having a baby. With this in mind it is extremely important that people 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 a good, 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.

 

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