"The police stuck her in the back of the van and then they and the crisis team drove off into the night leaving me, quite literally, holding the baby…he was 16 days old."

If your partner has been admitted to a general psychiatric ward, you may have to take responsibility for taking care of your baby.

All new parents need help and advice in the early days.  Don’t be afraid to ask the midwife or health visitor for any support you need in terms of feeding, holding, sleep routines and bonding with your baby.

In the first few days, your midwife may be able to supply you with cartons of ready-made milk (also available in supermarkets) so that you don’t have to worry about making up bottle feeds from scratch.

Here are some excellent videos from the Commando Dad website going over some of the basics: nappy changing, bottle feeding, winding and holding your baby.

If your partner is in a Mother & Baby Unit (MBU) you will need to be really involved with taking care of your baby when you visit. Don’t be afraid to ask the staff on the MBU to support you with caring for and bonding with your baby, giving you practical tips on feeding and sleep routines for when you go home.

We have some more information on caring for a newborn after PP. It's written for the person who has PP but may have some useful information for you too.

The Family Lives website has some excellent tips for early bonding, including videos.