Mother baby unit

The Mother Baby Unit (MBU) provides specialist care for women with significant mental health problems (severe depression, anxiety or psychotic illness) and their babies, from late pregnancy up until baby is walking.

MBU is not an emergency or crisis service.

Women are first advised to discuss their mental health concerns with their GP or health care professional, who can then refer them to the MBU (PDF) if necessary.

The MBU admits women who have birthed at KEMH, women living within the North Metropolitan Health Service area as well as rural and remote WA. External referrals will also be considered.

Women can choose to be admitted as a public or private patient, with no out-of-pocket costs for Medicare or privately eligible patients.


Mother Baby Unit services

The MBU model of care focuses on the assessment and treatment of mental health issues and the attachment between mother and baby. Babies up to the age of 12 months who are not walking are able to stay with their mother on the MBU. Once admitted, mother and baby will participate in a variety of therapeutic interventions, including individual sessions, group programs and nursing care, including mothercraft support. Women may also be referred to other hospital departments such as maternity (midwife and lactation consultants) and paediatric services.

The facilities are designed to support the mother in meeting her baby’s needs. Partners and families are encouraged to be involved in the mother’s care as much as possible. Prior to admission, families will be advised of what to bring to the unit.

The MBU team includes psychiatry, GP, nursing and allied health.

Last Updated: 17/12/2021