Mother and baby unit – the Andersen ward
The Andersen Ward is a mother and baby unit that accepts women from across the UK. The unit’s core purpose is to provide a consistently high level of quality specialist mental health care to both women who are pregnant and mothers following child birth.
Central to the philosophy of the mother and baby unit is to promote the mother and baby relationship within a secure and supportive environment while incorporating evidence based practice drawn from the fields of both peri-natal and general mental health knowledge.
The time around childbearing may make some women vulnerable to recurrences of, or new mental health problems. In cases of depression, puerperal psychosis and other mental disorders, the separation of mother and baby can create a secondary disturbance of bonding.
The unit provides comprehensive advice, medical and psychological assessment and treatment for women with previous or current mental health problems who have recently given birth, are pregnant or who wish to become pregnant. It also offers support and supervision which is tailored to the individuals needs to promote and ensure the infants safety.
The unit is run by professionals who have longstanding experience in perinatal psychiatry and work as a cohesive and highly motivated team. The team includes a consultant psychiatrist, in-patient mental health nurses, nursery nurses, an occupational therapist and a clinical psychologist and also has access to physiotherapists.
Mothers who are admitted to the ward may be experiencing maternal mental health difficulties such as post-natal depression or post-partum psychosis or an exacerbation of existing mental health difficulties such as schizophrenia or bipolar affective disorder.
The involvement of partners, family members and friends is encouraged and the unit offers support and education for all who visit.
Andersen Ward provides facilities for up to ten mothers and babies including:
- Single bedrooms with separate shower rooms
- Two nurseries
- A dining area
- A fully equipped milk kitchen
- A fenced garden, patio and outside play area
- A ladies only lounge
- A self-contained flat
Find out more www.gmmh.nhs.uk/mother-and-baby/