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.
Where are the Mother and Baby Units in the UK?
England has 19 units, Scotland has two Mother and Baby Units (MBU) and Wales has one.
Map from the Maternal Mental Health Alliance.
UK Mother and Baby Units - Google Map
View UK Mother and Baby Units in a larger map.
Please note that 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 Mother and Baby Unit website if supplied.
What happens if there is no Mother and Baby Units nearby?
There are currently no Mother and Baby Units (MBUs) in North Wales or Northern Ireland. There are many parts of the country with no Mother and Baby Unit. Even where there are MBUs, there may not be a bed available. You may be admitted to a general psychiatric ward. If that happens, your partner or family will need to care for 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. You may choose to be admitted to a general ward if the nearest specialist MBU is far from your home.
We're campaigning for more Mother and Baby Units - essential places of care for new mums experiencing severe mental illness.