Staff taught me how to look after my baby

Susan has been a patient at the Mother and Baby Unit at Bethlem Royal Hospital at SLaM for the past three months. She was admitted with her son James, now five months, to receive treatment for a postnatal and mental illness.

The 31-year-old suffers from bipolar depression and, after a foster placement, she was referred to our nationally-renowned perinatal service.

In her own words the unit “kept her sane” and helped her form a good relationship with her son.

“This place really helped me,” she said. “The staff here have been great and they have helped me to form a better relationship with my son.

“I have a strong bond with him now and I think it is because of our care and treatment here. I have made good friends with other mothers and also with staff.”

Since Susan has been on the unit she has had the opportunity to join a number of classes and activities which she says have helped her to “feel better”. A range of activities are on offer at the Mother and Baby Unit, including art, music, woodwork, sewing and baby massage.

She said: “It has been great to spend time doing an activity I wouldn’t normally get involved in. I now have new hobbies to keep me busy which is great.

“The people here have taught me how to look after my baby. I am well now and can do so much more than I used to which is good for both James and myself.”

Since she was admitted to the unit Susan was looked after by a team of nurses, including nursery nurse Leigh Reed. Leigh said Susan’s improvement has been “incredible”. “She is really different now. Susan is much more willing to interact with staff,” she said.

“When she first came in the unit she was very full on with James, she would constantly be with him and was not able to leave him alone. Now she is more trusting and relaxed. It is really great to see how much she has improved and really fulfilling for us here.

“I have great hopes for her for the future.”

By Susan

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