Mother Baby Unit inpatient servicesLocations:
The Mother Baby Unit at Werribee Mercy Hospital is a mental health inpatient unit where mothers and babies can be admitted to receive care for mental health conditions from birth up until your baby is 12 months old.
The Mother Baby Unit is located at Werribee Mercy Hospital. It provides inpatient care for women and their babies, when inpatient psychiatric treatment is required for a mother in her baby’s first year of life.
While you are an inpatient of the Mother Baby Unit, you will be cared for by our staff who are specialised in the treatment of mental health conditions in the postnatal (after birth) period. Your baby will stay with you in your room and, wherever possible, you will be supported in the care of your baby.
Find us at:
On-site signage and indicators
Look for the Mother Baby Unit signs on-site.
How can people get access?
Please ring the front doorbell.
What to do before
What to do before an appointment/admission:
- you might find it helpful to talk to your partner, a family member or close friend before your appointment, to discuss how you feel and ask them to attend the appointment with you
- the hospital is located at 300 Princes Highway, Werribee, and there is parking on site outside the Mother Baby Unit
- call us to let us know if you are unable to make your scheduled appointment
- further information about mental health concerns during pregnancy and in the postnatal period can be found on the Perinatal, Anxiety & Depression Australia (PANDA) or BeyondBlue websites
- jot down and bring any questions you might want answered to your appointment
- bring personal items such as pyjamas, changes of clothes, toiletries and self-care, baby care products, baby clothes, nappies. You can ask our admission staff what else you may want to bring when you are offered an appointment for admission.
What to bring
If you have them, it is helpful if you bring any letters about your past and current mental health care, as well as a list of all your past and current medications.
Also, bring the contact details of your general practitioner and any mental health clinician you are currently receiving care from.
What to expect on the day
Our appointments usually run on time. Upon arrival, you will be shown around our unit and taken into a private interview room to meet our psychiatry registrar and one of our psychiatric nurses. They will spend about an hour with you, taking time to discuss their recommendations as the best ongoing care for you.
Following initial assessment, we will explore treatment and management options and discuss individual service strategies.
These may include:
- individual therapy
- couples counselling
- group sessions. These are an integral part of the program and all mothers are expected to attend. The sessions are facilitated by members of the team. Mother/baby interaction and education groups are also significant within the program, along with self-development.
Our team consists of a psychiatrist, a psychiatry registrar (doctor training in the specialty of psychiatry), mental health nurses, psychologists and social workers. From time to time, we also have nursing students, medical students, psychology and social work students on placement in the unit.
What questions should you ask
By the end of the first appointment, your clinician will provide you with feedback about what they think would be the most helpful course to take going forward. We aim to work collaboratively with you and discuss all the options available for your ongoing care.
You may want to ask questions including:
- What do you think is my diagnosis?
- What are the alternatives to your recommendations?
- What are the risks of your recommendations?
- What are the risks of not following your recommendations and what are alternative treatment options?
- Where can I obtain further information?
- What other supports are available to me?
- Will you let my general practitioner (GP) or current healthcare provider know about our appointment and your recommendations?
When you and your treating clinician make the decision that it is time to be discharged from our service, they will discuss their recommendations for your ongoing care with you. This may include referring you back to the care of your GP or private psychiatrist or to another service if you require ongoing mental health care.
Following your admission, we will call and/or write to your GP, current mental health care provider and any other healthcare provider that you nominate as being involved in your care. Following discussion with you, we will arrange referral to support agencies relevant to your care, either within the hospital (for example, our social work department) or outside the hospital.
Who to call if you have concerns afterwards
You can call your GP or your nearest Area Mental Health Service. We will ensure you have the phone numbers you need prior to discharge.
If the matter is urgent call:
Mental Health Triage
- Phone numbers:
Mental Health Triage
1300 657 259
24 hours, 7 days a week
- Website: Mercy Mental Health Triage
If you are experiencing mental distress or you are seeking treatment for a mental health problem, please phone the triage line
For emergencies requiring immediate assistance, call 000.
You may need to leave a message on an answering service and the triage worker will return your call as soon as possible.
For health professionals
This is an inpatient unit for women who require inpatient treatment for a mental health disorder and their babies (up to when their infant is one year old).
How to prepare the patient
Discuss with your patient what your concerns are for their mental health and why you recommend a referral.
Ensure that your patient is consenting to a referral and call the Werribee Mercy Mental Health triage number: 1300 657 259
Phone our service if the referral is of high priority. This enables us to prioritise your patient’s initial appointment or assist you with access to appropriate services in the meantime.
Let your patient know about this webpage so that they can prepare for the appointment themselves.
Provide your patient with details of how to access urgent mental health care if their circumstances change and they are unable to wait for their appointment.
What/when you should refer to us
Women living within the catchment area of this service can be referred if they require inpatient assessment and treatment of a mental health disorder in the first year of their baby’s life.
View information on catchment areas.
What/when you should not refer to us
While we admit mothers and babies, this is not a parenting centre that assists with infant issues such as sleep/feeding.
Early parenting concerns may be addressed by contacting:
Resources for you
See on outpatient pages
Contact at this hospital
Other places to get help
- Phone numbers:
beyondblue Support Service
1300 224 636
24 hours, 7 days a week
- Website: beyondblue.org.au
Equipping everyone in Australia with the knowledge and skills to achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live. We give people the confidence to support those around them, and make anxiety, depression and suicide part of everyday conversations. And as well as tackling stigma, prejudice and discrimination, we’re breaking down the barriers that prevent people from speaking up and reaching out.
Services avialable through the beyondblue website include:
- Chat online
- Online forums
If you require immediate support, please contact the beyondblue Support Service.
The International Marcé Society for Perinatal Mental Health
- Website: marcesociety.com
Dedicated to supporting research and assistance surrounding prenatal & postpartum mental health for mothers, fathers and their babies.
PANDA National Helpline
- Phone numbers:
PANDA’s National Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Helpline
1300 726 306
9am-7:30pm, Monday to Friday
- Website: panda.org.au
PANDA – Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia supports women, men and families across Australia affected by anxiety and depression during pregnancy and early parenthood. PANDA operates Australia’s only National Helpline for individuals and their families to recover from perinatal anxiety and depression, a serious illness that affects up to one in five expecting or new mums and one in ten expecting or new dads.
Mother Baby Unit
300 Princes Highway
Werribee Victoria 3030
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