For new mothers who find they are in the grips of postpartum depression, the decision to get inpatient treatment can be a lot to bear. Because psychiatric inpatient units do not typically allow babies, some new mothers experience overwhelming guilt associated with leaving their new baby. For moms who are breastfeeding, the decision to be admitted only perpetuates feelings of inadequacy.
Psychiatric units treat a wide variety of conditions, including addiction, schizophrenia, and obsessive compulsive disorder. It is not always the most welcoming environment to a new mother.
“It’s a crossroads faced by the sickest mothers who struggle with depression both during and after their pregnancy: a general psychiatric ward that treats drug addicts and schizophrenics doesn’t feel welcoming to moms whose mental health struggles have a very clear cause, the birth of their child. Historically, they’ve had no place to turn.” Source
However, last year, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) opened the nation’s first inpatient psychiatric unit specializing in treating mothers suffering from postpartum anxiety and depression. On the unit, mothers are provided with many services; mother-infant attachment therapy, partner therapy, and yoga. They also learn coping and stress reduction skills to help the transition into motherhood.
The unit is baby-friendly and moms are provided with lactation services and hospital-grade breast pumps.
Only 5% of those suffering from a postpartum mood disorder require inpatient treatment, but for those women, this service is truly invaluable.
Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2012/03/22/nations-first-postpartum-depression-inpatient-unit-for-new-moms/