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Thumbswood celebrate Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week with a picnic

02 May 24

In celebration of Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week, HPFT’s Thumbswood Mother and Baby Unit held a picnic.

The picnic served as an opportunity for both current mums on the unit as well as mums who had previously been supported by the team to eat, chat and play with their babies together.

The unit was decorated with balloons and banners to commemorate the event.


We spoke with two mums, who shared their experiences with being supported at Thumbswood:

“Thumbswood saved my life. Before I came in, I felt suicidal and was in crisis mode. When I first had my baby, I realised that being a mother was such a different experience than what I was expecting it to be. I wasn’t in a good place mentally and wasn’t sleeping for more than an hour per night.

“I was really trying with the Health Visitor to find out what help was available for me. Then the Social Worker came over for a chat and asked me if I’d heard of the Mother and Baby Unit at Thumbswood—I decided that this would be the best place for me to feel safe, as I didn’t trust myself to be alone. At this time, my baby was five or six weeks old.

“I stayed at Thumbswood for two months and received so much support—there was someone to look after the baby at night so I could sleep, and there were also weekly psychology sessions and occupational therapy sessions; these taught me how to live a normal life and focus on myself and what I needed to do. I was also given classes by Nursery Nurses about safety for car seats, highchairs and more. We also had special sessions for the babies such as baby massage and nursery rhyme sessions.

“Support like this as well as things such as having meals ready for me and being catered for really helped me to focus on my relationship with my baby.”

A second mum told us:

“Knowing that someone was there at all times when I needed them, especially at night, really helped me. I had plans to end it but Thumbswood saved my life.”

Thumbswood is a specialist in-patient unit which offers treatment to women experiencing significant mental health difficulties during pregnancy or if they have a baby less than 12 months of age. The aim is to provide a safe and therapeutic environment where women can receive care and treatment without being separated from their babies.

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