APP’s Miles for Mums and Babies Challenge


Take on the Miles for Mums and Babies Challenge in 2023!

Each mile you complete as part of the challenge reflects the journey mums, babies, partners and families travel to be together, whilst mums receive care in Mother and Baby Units.

Rachel and 11 friends walked four million steps for APP.

You could walk, run or cycle 10, 50, 100 or even 1000 miles or more! Need some inspiration for how far you might want to go? How about….

  • 5 miles - 1 in 5 mums suffer some kind of mental illness in the perinatal period.
  • 25 miles - distance between the three London based MBUs
  • 51 miles - distance between the two Scottish MBUs (Edinburgh to Glasgow)
  • 318 miles - distance from most westerly MBU (In Exeter) to the most easternly (in Norfolk)
  • 452 miles - distance from the most northerly MBU, in Edinburgh, to the most southerly, in Dorset. Many mums and babies travel hundreds of miles to be together whilst mum is treated in hospital for a severe maternal mental illness. Dads, partners, families and friends may have to travel hundreds of miles back and forth to visit mum and baby.
  • 1400 miles - 1,400 mothers experience postpartum psychosis in the UK each year.

Or, choose your own distance, perhaps reflecting a number or distance that is special to you. Find out where your closest Mother and Baby Unit is and look on google maps to see the distance.

Map of Mother and Baby Units from the Maternal Mental Health Alliance

You could complete the distance on your own or as part of a team – maybe get all the family involved, invite your work colleagues to join you or convince a group of friends. You could even complete your chosen distance using a variety of methods - run, swim, row, cycle, walk…. It’s up to you.

With every donation, you’ll be helping to support mums and babies affected by severe maternal mental illness.


We now have access to hundreds of races, fun runs, jumps, rides and other events all over the country (and even overseas if you fancy it!)  Find a few ideas here: but if you're looking for an event in your area, of a certain length or in a specific month, let us know and we can help you find something to suit you.


Not a runner? Fancy a swim instead? There are places available in the Great Swim events in Windermere and Alton, more details here:

Or join an APP team in London for the Serpentine Swim in September:

Or if you’re not up for an open water swim, why not set yourself a swimathon challenge in your local pool?


For any Scottish supporters, there are Kiltwalk events to come in Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh, all with different options available depending on the level of challenge you’re looking for.  For more details and to sign up check out their website:

Not in Scotland or just fancy planning your own route? Find inspiration for trails in the UK here.


Choose your own distance and complete it at home on a static bike, or on roads or tracks near you, or take part in an organised event such as....

Brighton Marathon Bike Ride 2nd April - BM Ride 50km flat ride taking place on closed roads in the centre of Brighton & Hove – suitable for all levels and family friendly!

La Grande Aventure Cycle - 14th June ‐ 18th June - Amsterdam to Lille - Cycle for 4 days, across 3 countries, covering 225 miles, for 1 great cause.


Maybe straightforward running isn’t exciting enough for you? Then perhaps an inflatable obstacle race is what you're looking for!  We have options for 2.5k, 5k, 10k and 15k fun runs around a course involving 17 massive bouncy obstacles! This is one all the family can join in with.
Events take place between April and October in Exeter, Guildford, Kent, Towcester, Leeds, St Albans, Bristol, Southampton, Wolverhampton, Cheshire, West Sussex, Edinburgh, Lincoln, Norfolk, Huntingdon, Warwickshire.


Get your kids involved, rope in your local nursery, playgroup or preschool and set up a sponsored toddle for APP! Or invite some friends along for a sponsored buggy walk? We’d love to see some tiny fundraisers!

Got another idea? Maybe you’re a paddleboarder? A climber? A horse rider or a kayaker? Perhaps you want to combine as many different methods as you can over your chosen distance! However you choose to complete your Miles for Mums and Babies challenge, we’d love to hear about it!

6 Steps To Setting Up Your Challenge:
  1. Choose your activity or activities
  2. Set your target distance: in miles, kilometres or steps, choose from one of the suggestions above, or perhaps reflect a number or distance that is special to you.
  3. Decide on your date or time frame: this could be one session, multiple sessions in a month/three months/by the end of the year, or whatever it takes.
  4. Make it a personal challenge or join up with family, friends or colleagues as a team.
  5. Set up your Just Giving/Facebook Fundraiser sponsorship page with a fundraising target (we suggest £150) and ask friends and family to sponsor you (please tick the box to allow APP consent to contact you).
  6. Get in contact with Fliss at, so we can send an APP-branded vest or T-shirt for your challenge, publicise your challenge (if you want us to), and send a medal when you’ve completed your challenge.

Together we want to raise over £10,000 to support the work of Action on Postpartum Psychosis.

We campaign for Mother and Baby Units (MBUs), so that mums affected by postpartum psychosis can receive the treatment they need. We raise awareness of postpartum psychosis, provide support and information to mums and families affected, train health professionals and conduct research to better understand the illness. 

We’re looking for 100 people to take part in the #MilesForMumsAndBabies challenge - could it be you? Sign up by emailing us here >
Personal Stories

Image: Emily walked 70 miles for APP.

Sign up to take part in APP’s #MilesForMumsAndBabies Challenge by emailing us >

Rachel's story 

“I travelled 150 miles from near Newport, Wales to be treated in a Mother and Baby Unit hospital in Nottingham, England for postpartum psychosis with my newborn Finley… My family drove around 700 miles a week to visit us. It wasn't easy for them either.” Read Rachel’s postpartum psychosis story >

Image: Rachel and newborn Finley.

What is a Mother and Baby Unit?

A Mother and Baby Unit (MBU) is a specialist inpatient treatment unit where mothers with mental illness are admitted with their babies.

In MBUs, mothers experiencing postpartum psychosis can be supported to care for their babies whilst having the specialist care and treatment they need. 

Our research indicates that women who receive care for postpartum psychosis in MBUs (rather than in a General Psychiatric Unit, separated from their baby) feel more satisfied with the care they receive, recover more quickly and feel more confident with their baby when they go home. Keeping mum and baby together is important not only for a woman's recovery but for mother-child bonding and an infant's development.

But many parts of the UK do not have MBUs, so mums and babies are forced to travel miles for treatment or mums can end up on an adult psychiatric ward without their babies and without specialist care. For example, there’s still no Mother and Baby Unit in North Wales, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland or Northern Scotland.

We're campaigning for more Mother and Baby Units - essential places of care for new mums experiencing severe mental illness and their babies.

Ten #MilesForMumsAndBabies Facts

  • 1 in 5  women develop a mental illness during pregnancy or within the first year after having a baby.
  • The average stay in a Mother and Baby Unit is 8 weeks.
  • Action on Postpartum Psychosis has been campaigning for more MBUs for 10 years.
  • 1 to 2 in every 1,000 mothers experience postpartum psychosis.
  • Over 1,400 women experience postpartum psychosis each year in the UK.
  • It’s just over 10 miles to walk between the Coombe Wood Perinatal Health Unit and East London Mother and Baby Unit in London (11.1 miles).
  • There are 22 Mother and Baby Units in the UK.
  • The first Mother and Baby Unit was at the Bethlem Royal Hospital in London.
  • It’s just under 500 miles to cycle from NHS Lothian Livingston Mother and Baby Unit in Scotland to Jasmine Lodge Mother and Baby Unit in Devon (494 miles).
  • One brand new Mother and Baby Unit opened in Wales in spring 2021. There’s still no Mother and Baby Unit planned for women in North Wales or Northern Ireland. Find out more about APP's campaigning for Mother and Baby Units.

We’re looking for 100 people to take part in the #MilesForMumsAndBabies challenge - could it be you? Sign up by emailing us here >

Image: the APP Medal you will receive for completing your #MilesForMumsAndBabies challenge.

Go The Extra Mile

Make a donation to Action on Postpartum Psychosis today >

APP's fantastic fundraisers

APP would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who is supporting our #MilesForMumsAndBabies challenge.  You can read their stories here >