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Mother and baby unit??

(306 Posts)
martha2013 Sat 04-May-13 19:19:25

Does anyone have any experience of such places? I'm 39+3 weeks pregnant with my very much planned and wanted second child. I have a diagnosis of bipolar and due to risks to baby have recently stopped my anti-psychotic. My psychiatrist thinks my mood is becoming high. I disagree. She is talking about mother and baby hospital after birth. I'm terrified and thinking of doing a runner!

Littlefish Sat 04-May-13 19:23:15

My only experience is via a friend who spent time in one. For her, it was a very positive experience which gave her time and space to bond with her baby while her meds, moods and other needs were looked after. If you are serious about doing a runner, then I would have to suggest that your psychiatrist could be correct in recognising that your mood is elevating. Good luck.

martha2013 Sat 04-May-13 19:41:05

Thanks for replying littlefish. I'm glad your friend had a positive experience. I'm just struggling with even the thought of being locked up. I feel great and can't wait to bring home the new addition to our family. My husband and older child need me at home too. Not sure how serious I am but I don't want any medics ruining what it such a special time.

Littlefish Sat 04-May-13 19:52:09

I know it must be worrying. Did you trust your psychiatrist before this? Do you think it's possible that coming off your drugs is stopping you from having a proper perspective on your behaviour and mood at the moment? You're right, it is an incredibly special time, but it's also a time when you will be very emotional and hormonal and you will need more support than your dh may be able to give.

martha2013 Sat 04-May-13 20:19:12

I trust my doctor but it's a specialist perinatal psychiatrist who has taken charge of my care and I don't know her well at all. It was a difficult decision to take medication at all but I have been given conflicting advice now about the risks so have stopped. I know I am not as well without it but think I've not got long left so it's the best option. I am scared of psychosis.

CajaDeLaMemoria Sat 04-May-13 20:23:34

I was born "into" a mother and baby unit. So were all three of my sisters. My mother also has bipolar, and when she got to 38 weeks in each pregnancy, she'd start to become erratic. She wouldn't notice it herself, so it was judged safest for her to be placed there.

We visited with my dad, either once or a few times a day, and it helped my mum a lot. She got a lot of time to bond and look after her little one, whilst she was being monitored. She wasn't "locked up", because she could walk around with baby in the pram, and we got to go out for longer periods before release.

For her last baby, she refused to go into a mother and baby unit. She discharged herself in the middle of the night, the day before she was due to go in. Social services were heavily involved after that, and did check-ups well into school. And of course, she ended up in the mother and baby unit anyway.

Please think about the best plan for you. If you are worried about family time, ask the psychiatrist to arrange times that your DH and older child can be with you. They'll help you feel comfortable and happy, if you ask.

dontrunwithscissors Sat 04-May-13 22:26:07

I spent six weeks ina unit when my youngest was six weeks with PND. It was a life saver and nothing like a regular psych unit at all. The staff were so good and it was a comforting place. I've since got a bipolar diagnosis so I appreciate that it's different when you're feeling (maybe) high. But having spent time in A reg psych hospital it was much smaller (6 beds), supportive, quiet, and half decent food!

scottishmummy Sat 04-May-13 22:38:37

congratulations due baby.mother and baby units are small and supportive
unit will emphasise you and baby well being,maybe reframe your thinking its not so bad
I understand you feels panicked,maybe that's indicative of getting unwell?talk to psych

martha2013 Sun 05-May-13 07:02:49

Thank you so much for your replies. I have had many admissions to psych wards and have found them very traumatic. I have been physically/sexually assaulted and given heroin on a ward. I fantasize about first weeks with my baby and surprisingly this does not feature! Also my boss wants me to start working from home when the baby arrives, I won't be able to do that from hospital.
From anyone's experience, what is it like? Do you have your own room? Do you take care of your baby? Do you have to take meds?

tiredemma Sun 05-May-13 07:22:54

The Mother and Baby unit that I worked on was a small 10 bedded unit- you and your baby have your own room (unless you are deemed a 'risk') to the baby- then the baby would go into the 'nursery' (still on the same ward- a large room with glass window so that you can see the baby)

There are medication rounds etc.

Mosschops30 Sun 05-May-13 07:41:28

They are great. I work quite closely with ours.
Provided you're not a risk to your baby then you won't be locked up. Your family will be allowed to be there all day if you want them there, you can go out for walks together and depending on how well you are home leave too either days or overnight.

Good luck smile

dontrunwithscissors Sun 05-May-13 09:27:54

It was small and quiet. Had my own en-suite room with cot,, but there was also a nursery for the babies to be cared for if you needed rest. Had own kitchen to make toast and tea. They had nursery nurses to help care for babies, but it was very much a case of them being there to support rather ban take over. The staff were amazing. They were very good with my oldest daughter and really involved my husband. Nine months later, at Christmas time, they sent me a lovely hand written 'its your baby girls first Christmas' card, wishing us all a happy time.

It was my first time of being admitted. Sh!t did I get a shock when I was admitted to a general psych unit a year later. I really felt locked up. The two experiences were very different in my case.

martha2013 Sun 05-May-13 22:08:10

Thanks for sharing, it makes a reassuring
read that it may be different to a normal psych ward. I feel so great though that the thought of being on hospital is bizarre. I am painting the lounge at the moment which I suppose at ten o'clock at night and 9 months pregnant is maybe a sign I'm a little high but it feels so good. I wonder if I disengage from services what they will do. They can't force me to see them can they?

scottishmummy Sun 05-May-13 22:14:33

I strongly urge you not to disengage,given you known to services and they concerned
better to ome to a mutually discussed plan,and discuss outcomes than be avoidant
mh and children and families can invoke a range of statutory powers if situation considered risky

Sashabella0 Sun 05-May-13 22:15:38

If you disengage they will worry more about you.

Could you maybe speak to your team and ask if you can have a look around the ward before you are admitted?

scottishmummy Sun 05-May-13 22:22:04

you need some reassurance,perhaps you're seeing this as catastrophic rather than treatment
what's dh thoughts in this,it's a discussion he need to participate in
how he supports your recovery,and collaborative working with services

I wish you all the v best, I hope this resolves well.do discuss your valid worries
maybe you will need in patient treatment,meds,and community support in own home

Elderflowergranita Sun 05-May-13 22:23:41

I think all the responses here are telling you that the mother and baby unit is a positive and nurturing place to be in, should you need the support.

I do understand how well and positive you feel now, but remember you will be tired and on a hormonal rollercoaster after the birth. Your psychiatrist is a specialist in this area. Why not listen to what she is saying/suggesting?

Tbh, painting the lounge at this time of night and talking about disengaging from the services sound slightly worrying. <Though of course the painting could be down to the overwhelming 'nesting' impulse grin>.

Please don't disengage - we all need some extra support from time to time.

EggAndBaconUmbrella Sun 05-May-13 22:28:38

Cooperate and you will get on better for sure. If you believe you are well then you need to be logical, listen to them and explain calmly how you feel. M&B units are different to MH wards. smile

Running off and refusing to see them will get you ss involvement or sectioned.

When can you go back on meds? When baby is born?

Take care.

Hoophopes Sun 05-May-13 23:09:25

A friend was painting a room when she went into labour, so sounds very nesting. Why it meet with them and agree to talk with them and say what support you have in place at home, how you using your current support well etc.

martha2013 Mon 06-May-13 20:30:24

Thank you for all your opinions/advice. After another full on busy day started with 6 miles jogging/walking I feel totally exhausted but can't settle tonight. My head is fizzing with thoughts. I really don't want to be poorly again, shutting them out seems like a safer option.

scottishmummy Mon 06-May-13 20:44:11

you'll not get the resolution online.you need to talk to your psych
seems like there's a lot of avoidance,denial and prevarication going on.but you know that
this simply will not go away,better to be participant in planning,than denial.whats dh opinion

martha2013 Mon 06-May-13 20:54:31

He doesn't know I've stopped the meds. He has a lot on at the moment. I know you are right, this won't be resolved here.

scottishmummy Mon 06-May-13 20:56:07

i wish you well Martha,please talk to your psych.

Scheherezade Mon 06-May-13 22:06:59

Hi Martha - I was in Derby MBU for a long time last year. If you have any questions please PM me. It was a necessary experience, not great, but not horrible. I would rather be at home, but I was not anywhere near well enough to be. It was much, much better than waiting till baby was 1 and going into a general psych ward, or getting so ill that I was TOO unwell for MBU and had to be in secure unit.

Elderflowergranita Tue 07-May-13 00:54:23

Not long at all now til you give birth martha.

It is generally an unsettlingly time when you are at this stage of pregnancy.

The very best of luck to you with all of it. Please reach out and accept the support that will benefit you. x

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