We help mothers experiencing severe mental illness through a programme of treatment and support in the community and in our specialist inpatient unit.
Community-based care includes:
- advice and support over the telephone
- outpatient consultations in clinics, GP surgeries or at home
- support and guidance for an individual’s family
- and a range of therapy sessions.
Our inpatient service is available to women who have severe mental illness from 24 weeks of pregnancy until a child is one-year-old. The unit, based at Melbury Lodge in Winchester, has been designed especially for mothers and babies, with the aim of making it a safe, welcoming and relaxing environment.
During your stay, you will have your own room with a bed, wardrobe, armchair and cot for your baby. Most rooms have an en-suite bathroom with bath and shower and we also have a lounge, dining room with highchairs, a nursery room with toys, laundry and ironing room and an enclosed garden with a play area. In addition, we have a kitchen for you to prepare feeds for your baby and hot and cold drink making facilities for you to help yourself.
Most mothers and babies come to the unit to receive professional care from a specialist team 24/7 until they're well enough to be at home. The unit is away from the usual pressures and demands you might face at home, or even the day to day demands of things like shopping and preparing meals. During your stay, we can give you guidance on child related issues and help you maintain healthy routines such as regular sleep and meal patterns. We can also provide a full range of treatments that you may not get at home, such as: opportunities to talk through your difficulties with professionals, occupational therapy programmes and assistance with medication.
On arrival, you will be given a tour of the unit and we’ll introduce you to everyone. You’ll have a ‘named nurse’ as your main point of contact but we're all here to help. Each week you'll be invited to a ward round meeting to contribute to your care planning – we want you to have a real say in your care.
Family and Friends
Mothers and their babies need as much support and help from friends and families as possible, particularly if they're suffering from mental health problems.
Our visiting hours are therefore flexible but, generally speaking, are from 11.30am to 8.00pm (Monday to Friday, except 3-4pm) and 10.00am to 8.00pm at weekends.
The Mother and Baby Unit is in Melbury Lodge on the Royal Hampshire County Hospital site.