Monday 3 August 2020
New mothers with acute or severe mental illness will soon be able to access care alongside their babies following yesterday’s announcement of NSW’s first public purpose-built Mother and Baby Mental Health Unit (MBU) at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
The new unit will provide multidisciplinary support to up to 120 women each year and be accessible to new mums and mums-to-be from across the state who require care in a hospital for a perinatal mental illness.
The joint mother-baby focus is a crucial development in the delivery of person-centred mental healthcare in NSW. It will allow women to receive the specialist perinatal care they need, as well as the opportunity to form a bond with their babies in those all-important, formative months.
Each of the eight bedrooms at the MBU will accommodate a mother, up to two infants under 12-months of age and a partner or family member.
The MBU will also include space and equipment for antenatal care, a 24-hour respite nursery, a mothercraft room, a play area, a retreat room and communal areas to accommodate multiple families with children.
The MBU is part of the NSW Government’s $700 million Statewide Mental Health Infrastructure Program – the single biggest investment in mental health infrastructure to date. A second Unit at Westmead Hospital is also in the initial planning stage.
The MBU is expected to be operational by the end of 2021.
Pictured above: RPA Mother and Baby Unit - render image showing dining / lounge
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