New mum 'shut off' from family after traveling 100 miles for treatment

A mother from Cardiff says she was left isolated from her family after she had to travel over a hundred miles to receive specialist perinatal mental health treatment at an English mother and baby unit (MBU).

After a traumatic birth Katie Dean struggled with postnatal depression. She and daughter Matilda were offered a place at a MBU in Exeter where they stayed for seven months.


When it came time for Katie to leave the unit in Exeter, she found it hard to adjust from the care she received there to the mental health provision available in Cardiff.


MBUs offer specialist inpatient care to women with severe mental health issues in a place where they can stay with their newborn child.

Wales' last specialist mother and baby unit closed in Cardiff in 2013 and since then campaigners have been calling for one to be reopened.

The Welsh Government committed to opening a specialist unit two years ago but so far no provision has been established.

Campaigners say they are frustrated at the rate of progress being made.

The Welsh Government says they have asked for mother and baby provision to be established in Wales.

Katie says she wants Wales to have it’s own mother and baby unit so other mothers do not have to worry about traveling outside of the country for treatment.

“It gets to the point where either mothers don’t go to the units because they’re too far and then that can lead to the child not having a mother. And it’s not right. It’s not good enough."