This Mother and Baby Unit specialises in the treatment of antenatal and postnatal illnesses. The service is for women who develop a mental illness or have a relapse of serious mental illness during pregnancy, and women who have developed postnatal depression, post partum psychosis or have had a relapse of serious mental illness following the birth of their baby.
SLaM support the mother in developing a relationship with her infant in order to reduce the impact of the mother’s illness on the child. They offer a holistic treatment programme, and encourage the involvement of fathers or partners in the process. They admit with babies where it is the wish of the mother and it is clinically safe to do so. They are also able to take mothers without their babies, and offer a programme of gradual reintroduction to the mother on the ward. They also have an inpatient parenting assessment service, providing a unique and highly specialised service to local and national authorities across the United Kingdom. They undertake assessment of women or couples and their infant, where there is potential risk or safeguarding issues arising from the parents’ mental health problems.
Their team is committed to providing cost-effective, evidence based treatments that reduce risk, establish a relationship between mother and baby, and prepares them for a lasting return to the community. They work closely with the Institute of Psychiatry, where there is a perinatal section headed by a world renowned expert psychiatrist, who leads many of their staff in carrying out research of international significance.