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Child Health Guideline Identifier

Mother and Baby Unit - management of admitted infants

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Description of service

Infants are admitted to the Mother and Baby Unit (MABU) with their mother, who has mental health issues. The infants are not admitted as boarders with their mother, but as patients in their own right. During the admission the mother receives care whilst maintaining a relationship with her infant. The early relationship between a mother and her infant are essential to social and emotional wellbeing.

All admissions are planned admissions. The unit is not able to admit infants who are unwell. The age of the infants admitted to the unit range from birth to about one year of age.

Admissions to Unit

Infants are examined by a doctor within 24 hours of admission. This is done either by the Child and Family Unit (CFU) House Officer or by the GP that works in CFU/MABU 3 mornings a week. If the infant should arrive later in the day, and the usual admitting doctors are not available, the medical examination can be deferred until the following day.

Acute illness in admitted infants

If MABU staff is concerned about an infant becoming acutely unwell while admitted, contact the General Paediatric registrar on call to come and assess the infant in the unit.

If an unwell infant needs investigations such as blood tests, X rays, etc, or medical admission, the infant should be taken to the Children's Emergency Department for further assessment and management. Phone the CED co-ordinator to let them know to expect the infant.

If an infant needs urgent or emergency intervention, dial 777 and call a Code Pink (urgent - 10 minute response time) or Code Blue (emergency - immediate response)

Non-acute issues

There is a General Paediatrician in the unit on a Thursday afternoon who deals with any non-urgent issues identified, and checks that the infant is linked into appropriate services (e.g. GP and Well Child Provider) and addresses any concerns raised by the parents or staff.

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Document Control

  • Date last published: 23 February 2017
  • Document type: Clinical Guideline
  • Services responsible: General Paediatrics, Child and Family Unit
  • Author(s): Silvana Campanella, Tanya Wright
  • Editor: Greg Williams
  • Review frequency: 2 years

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