Please note: This website is best viewed in a modern browser like Chrome, Edge or Firefox. We no longer support Internet Explorer 11.

Mother & Baby Unit (MBU)

This family-centred specialist Mother and Baby Unit cares for people who experience severe mental health difficulties during and after pregnancy.  

Consultant Psychiatrist Dr. Olivia Protti and her experienced clinical team provide excellent care in a multi-therapeutic environment. 

This experienced and diverse team has particular experience in the care and treatment of people from diverse cultures. We offer a range of opportunities to engage mothers, infants, and families in the process of recovery. 

Our ward team consists of registered mental health nurses, nursery nurses, social therapists, and a life skills recovery worker. This work is further enhanced in therapy by a psychologist, occupational therapist, parent-infant psychotherapist, art therapist, and dance movement therapist. 

There is access to physical exercise and activities facilitated by a trained member of staff which can be facilitated either on or off the ward.

Please note that the City and Hackney Centre for Mental Health is now a smoke-free site.

Mother and Baby Unit group photo

City and Hackney Centre for Mental Health
Homerton Row
E9 6SR
United Kingdom

Opening hours
The MBU is a 24 hr service.
Telephone number
020 8510 8420

Women with a pre-existing mental illness who suffer a relapse during pregnancy or after giving birth, such as bi-polar affective disorder, schizophrenia, recurrent depressive disorder, severe anxiety disorder and schizo-affective disorder 

Women who develop an acute mental illness such as puerperal psychosis or depression during or after pregnancy 

Women who are at significant risk of becoming unwell in the perinatal period (prophylactic admissions) who have established diagnosis of mental illness and are already known to mental health services – referrals will be considered from 32 weeks gestation 

Women can be admitted from the age of 18 years old (referrals for women aged 16 years will be considered on a case by case basis) 

The aim of the unit is to ensure that all women who have young infants and who require admission can remain with their baby, enabling the special bond between mother and baby to be unbroken at a critical time in the life of a young family.  

Unique features include: 

  • Pregnant women can be admitted from 32 weeks 
  • On-site maternity and pediatric services with access on the unit to a Specialist Midwife for Mental Health 
  • Capacity to accept urgent and out of hours admissions 
  • Sensory Room for use as part of therapeutic activities available to both mother and infant 
  • Uniquely the unit can cater to mothers with twins 
  • We have facilities to support mothers with physical disabilities.

We offer:

  • A comprehensive medical, nursing, social and psychological assessment of mothers;
  • A individualised care plan to meet the mothers' needs throughout admission that specifically addresses pregnancy, delivery, breastfeeding, or known physical health concerns;
  • Culturally sensitive, person-centred care for all mothers;
  • One-to-one support for mothers in order to help meet the developmental, physical, and emotional needs of their baby;
  • Support for the whole family. We actively encourage the involvement of partners, family members, and friends;
  • A well thought-through, personalised discharge plan in keeping with the Care Program Approach.

The service is available to women who may be either experiencing a mental health condition or at risk of becoming mentally unwell in the Perinatal Period. Women can be admitted from 32 weeks into pregnancy or with infants up to 10 months old.

Referrals can be made at any time to the unit. Our senior nurse and medical staff are happy to arrange assessments where clinically appropriate. The senior nurse on duty on-site has the authority to accept admissions in emergencies and out of hours.

To refer, please call: 020 8510 842