Managing Postpartum Mental Disorders: An Inside Look at a Mother and Baby Unit
Keywords:Mother and Baby Unit, Postpartum Mental Disorder, Mental Health Services, Women's Health Services
Multiple studies have underscored the value of a nurturing relationship between a mother and her newborn child. This relationship may actually become harmful to the baby, however, if the mother is suffering from a mental illness that prevents her from bonding with and responding to her new baby. What kinds of sociocultural factors complicate the experience of mothers suffering from postpartum mental disorders and of the familes of these mothers? What support and treatment models exist for these mothers? This paper stems from my rotation as a medical student at an East London mother and baby unit and its affiliated women's acute mental health ward. It aims to provide an inside glimpse of these mother's stories and to illustrate how this mother and baby unit, in conjunction with local community service agencies, provided a comprehensive system of support and treatment for its patients.
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