When a mum friend or family member is unwell, it can be hard to know how to be of most help and show that you care. Sending a card is something encouraging and cheerful that a mum can have in their hospital room. It can also be a lovely keepsake for a mum to come back to, sometimes months and years later in her recovery journey, and treasure your thoughtfulness at such a difficult time.
Soukaina Bennani works as an Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP) peer support facilitator in the Chamomile Suite Mother and Baby Unit, part of the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.
Here she tells us how you can send a mental health get well soon card to a new mum in a Mother and Baby Unit.
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.
At the Chamomile Suite Mother and Baby Unit, mums have their own bedrooms where they can put out their cards.
How can I find out the address to send the card to?
Find out the name of the Mother and Baby Unit they are staying at from a family member or friend. Search online for the address, for example, searching ‘Birmingham Mother and Baby Unit address’ to find the official NHS page for the unit.
All Mother and Baby Unit addresses are also available on the NHS WebBeds website: https://www.nhswebbeds.co.uk
Finding the right words
It can be difficult to find the right words to say when someone is unwell. Here are some example messages of encouragement you could add:
- I’m sorry to hear that you are feeling unwell at the moment
- I’m sorry you are having a tough time
- I’m so sorry that you’ve had to have a stay in hospital
- It's okay not to be okay
- You will get better
- We are thinking of you
- Sending lots of love
- Sending you a big hug
- Hope you feel better soon
- I hope you know I’m always here for you
- Sending you lots of positive thoughts
Read the comments on this Facebook post for more ideas from our community:
You can also read the comments on the Instagram post for more ideas.
View this post on Instagram
Which card could I send?
You can send any card, perhaps with a 'thinking of you' or 'get well soon message.
You could choose to send a printed card that includes some information about Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP), which may be helpful to your friend and their family.
We work with Making a Difference cards, which offer personalised cards for every occasion. Sending a card through this service will also help to raise funds for APP.
You can add names, photos and messages and they can be delivered directly to the recipient, or to you so you can add a handwritten message.
Find out more and select a card here: https://gb.makingadifference.cards/supporting/action-on-postpartum-psychosis
Should I expect a response from the mum or family?
Mums can sometimes stay in a Mother and Baby Unit for a number of months as they recover. We also know that many mums find it difficult to remember too. So don't be disappointed if they don't say thank you personally. They will get better and be back in touch when they can.
Find out more about postpartum psychosis and APP’s peer support
If you'd like to find out more about recovery from postpartum psychosis, take a look at our guides and our information webpages.
APP’s peer support service connects you with people who have been there. We can support you if you’ve had postpartum psychosis, or experienced high mood or mania after the birth of your child, or if you are a partner or family member of someone who experienced postpartum psychosis. Find out more about peer support here.
If you live in the Birmingham area, or were treated at Chamomile Suite MBU (recently or many years ago), APP has a monthly café group which supports women and families affected by postpartum psychosis (PP) - no matter how long ago your experience was. To find out more, get in touch via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about our partnership projects with the NHS
Around the country we have monthly café groups, Peer Support Facilitators and volunteer teams based within some NHS services and Mother and Baby Units. Find out more about our regional projects in the NHS.