Lancashire and Cumbria Perinatal Mental Health Services
Our eight-bed mother and baby unit (Ribblemere) opened in October 2018 and is an inpatient facility for mothers with serious mental health problems to access support and treatment whilst remaining alongside their babies.
Ribblemere provides 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. Ribblemere enables treatment and recovery for mothers while allowing their relationships with their babies to develop.
The unit is staffed by multidisciplinary teams across psychiatry, nursing and nursery care.
Ribblemere is a huge step forward for everyone involved in perinatal mental health across Cumbria and Lancashire. Mums with lived experience of perinatal mental health problems have been involved in the planning of the new unit and the Trust has also set up a closed Facebook group for people to share experiences and have discussions about the ongoing development of perinatal services. If you would like to join the group, please email your details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chorley and South Ribble District General Hospital
Reception (Primary) - 01772 520780
Ward telephone - 01772 520781
Perinatal care and treatment
We offer joint hospital admissions for women and their babies where a mother is suffering from a mental health problem, and appropriate treatment and care cannot be provided at home. The unit also accepts admissions of women in the latter stages of pregnancy.
The exact nature of the treatment that is provided will differ for each patient depending on the nature of their difficulties, and is decided upon jointly between the patient and the multi-disciplinary team. This treatment will be detailed in a care plan which is written and kept up to date as things change throughout the admission. Some of the specific treatments available on the unit are:
- Medical treatment
- Psychological Therapy including 1:1 and parent-infant approaches
- Groups to help you bond with your baby
- Infant massage
- Occupational therapy
- Anxiety management
During admission mothers are supported by staff to provide as much care to their baby as they are able to. It is common for mothers to need a high level of support when first admitted and therefore may initially be a member of staff with baby at all times.
What does 'perinatal' mean?
Perinatal mental health problems are those which occur during pregnancy or in the first year following the birth of a child. Between 10% and 20% of women develop a mental illness during their pregnancy or within the first year after having their baby. If left untreated, it can have significant and long lasting effects on the woman and her family.
'Perinatal' means the period of time covering your pregnancy and up to roughly a year after giving birth. It's made up of two parts:
- peri meaning 'around'
- natal meaning 'birth'
What are perinatal mental health conditions?
Women can experience any kind of mental health problems during and after pregnancy, but there are some that are particularly common or are specifically linked to pregnancy and childbirth including:
- perinatal depression
- perinatal anxiety
- perinatal OCD
- postpartum psychosis
- postpartum PTSD
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.