"Every member of staff helped me bond with my baby through my recovery and supported my whole family."

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What are Mother and Baby Units (MBUs)?

What are Mother and Baby Units?Mother and Baby Units (MBUs) are specialist inpatient treatment units where mothers with mental illness are admitted with their babies. 

They can get the specialist care and treatment they need and support to look after their babies.

Mums who receive care for postpartum psychosis in MBUs usually feel more satisfied with the care they receive, recover more quickly and feel more confident with their baby when they go home. Keeping your baby with you can help you bond with them too.

"I was in Nottingham MBU twice - for a month with postpartum psychosis and then a month later for a further 2.5 months with severe postnatal depression and anxiety. With my first admission, I was sectioned and had no choice about going. With my second my partner and I knew I needed help and felt that I needed to go back in."

Where are the Mother and Baby Units in the UK?

England has 19 units, Scotland has two and Wales has one.

Map from the Maternal Mental Health Alliance.

View UK MBUs in a larger map.

MBU staff changes might mean email addresses can change. Use the MBU telephone as prime contact in an emergency. Check the latest information from the MBU website if supplied.

What happens if there are no Mother and Baby Units nearby?

There are currently no MBUs in North Wales or Northern Ireland. There are many parts of the country with no units. Even where there is an MBU nearby, there may not be a bed available. You may have to be admitted to a general psychiatric ward.

In this case, your partner or family will need to look after your baby. If you have nobody else who can look after your baby, social workers can find a temporary carer. This will only be until an MBU bed is available or until you are well enough to care for your baby yourself. 

We're campaigning for more MBUs - essential places of care for new mums experiencing severe mental illness.

You can also read about our research on the effectiveness of MBUs here.