Mother and Baby Unit
Perinatal and infant mental health is used to describe the psychological wellbeing of mothers and its impact on their quality of bonding with their baby. We encourage partners and families to help mothers and infants through this difficult time.
Women are more likely to experience anxiety and depression during the perinatal period (pregnancy through to when the child is three years old) than any other time in their lives.
Intervention during this critical period is essential to improve the health of mothers and their ability to nurture their child, and for infants to develop a secure attachment with their mother.
Our perinatal and infant mental health care
Our holistic approach to care addresses your physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs, which are all important aspects of your recovery.
All our programs are delivered by experienced and caring perinatal specialists who take the time to understand your situation and tailor treatment or therapy to your needs.
We offer treatment for the whole spectrum of perinatal mental health issues, including:
- postnatal depression and/or anxiety – prolonged episodes (lasting two weeks or more) of sadness, irritability or anxiety, after the birth of a baby. It is often associated with loss of interest or enjoyment in social activities or sense of confidence in the parenting role. These episodes respond well to psychological counselling and more severe episodes may need treatment with antidepressants.
- postnatal psychosis – very uncommon but a serious mental health episode following the birth of a baby and often associated with a major impact on day-to-day function. This condition responds well to medication and women generally make a full recovery.
Our Mother and Baby Unit offers the only specialist inpatient program in New South Wales for mothers and their babies up to 12 months of age.
Our focus is on helping you recover from perinatal infant mental health issues and to help you develop a secure bond (or attachment) between you and your baby.
Your program will include a combination of group therapies or programs, and skills and support with feeding, sleep and settling issues that may arise in terms of baby care.
Partners are also encouraged to visit, stay overnight and participate in therapy and skills development with you.
Our facilities, in Burwood, Sydney, replicate a home-like environment and are warm and nurturing with many areas for you and your baby to relax and bond, or socialise with other mothers in the program.
We recommend you bring a range of items to hospital to assist in caring for yourself and your baby.
When you are discharged from hospital, you can continue your recovery through our outpatient services which are provided at Counselling and Therapy Centre and through our Medicare-funded clinic.
Benefits of our perinatal and infant mental health services
- Helps you bond with your baby and develop secure attachment
- Equips you with practical skills you can use in caring for your baby
- Develops peer networks with other mothers for support and encouragement
- Strengthen your relationships with your partner
These benefits depend on your particular circumstances and require you to fully participate in necessary care and management. You should consult a specialist in this area before deciding whether treatment is suitable for you.
Bupa Mummatters - self assessment website
The Bupa Mummatters - self assessment website can be used to help pregnant women and new mums identify feelings associated with depression and anxiety. It also provides steps you can take to improve your emotional wellbeing as well as support guides and further resources. It was designed with input by our researchers and can be accessed for free online.
We also offer free or low cost specialist services for parents and families who experience perinatal and infant mental health issues through our Social Outreach program, Raphael Services.
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