THE BLOG

Mother and Baby Units Can Be the Difference Between Life and Death

12/01/2015 14:04 GMT | Updated 11/03/2015 09:59 GMT

I am writing this blog today regards to the mother and baby unit in Wales, It concerns me and I have a care of duty to for services for new mothers requiring this service. Since November 2013 the Welsh Government closed the unit and told that there isn't a need for the unit. It was a great disappointment and that the closest unit for the entire country of Wales is Bristol or Birmingham, and that depends on bed availability at the time.

Women who are psychotic will now be made safe in a mental health unit without their baby and with no specialist perinatal mental health care. Women with postpartum psychosis (or puerperal psychosis) may come out even worse than before due to being viewed and treated the same as other people with various other mental health issues and needs.

Why isn't there a unit in Wales? It's a country in itself, and after being involved in the report in October issues by the MMHA, this shows clearly that prevention and treatment would result in saving the country money in the long term due to the effects of this illness. It stated that the whole of the UK would save £8.1 billion per year by having these prevention services in place.

The figures show that one in 500 women will suffer from postpartum psychosis (or puerperal psychosis) which is a major cause for women's deaths, with 36,000 average births in Wales. Every year 150 women are at risk, with a 70% lack of community services in Wales, so Wales needs this specialist unit.

We need better community perinatal mental health care with at least one in seven women being affected with postnatal depression. The knock on effects are sometimes:

Fathers suffering depression themselves.

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Families turning to negative coping skills such as drink and drugs; this then leads onto children being effected. There are also bonding issues during this time, and families have to leave work to look after the families issues.

All of these highlighted points can be prevented if there is the right help given within the first 12 months. Families feel frustrated that there isn't the right care in place moving forwards.

It is only Northern Ireland that has less support than Wales at the moment, with 80% without amother and baby unit. Due to the new NICE guidelines, this needs to be brought to urgent attention. Young mums and dads are afraid to seek help, and even if they do there isn't the help required in place for them.

Sadly it was only ten weeks ago that I unfortunately endured a father who killed himself due to the lack of support for his family which is a necessity for the whole family. I hope the government can empathise with me and why I need to address this matter. This action needs to take place today and for the families of the future.

I too am a father that suffered this dreadful illness alongside my wife ten years ago, with a great lack of education or knowledge surrounding this illness that effects millions around the world each year, my passion from going through this illness comes from knowing that I could help families not go through the hell me and wife did all those years ago.

So my blog is a simple one. Education, awareness and the need of those units are a must for new mums going through this awful illness.