Units to admit psychiatrically ill mothers with their babies to psychiatric hospitals were pioneered follow ing Main's description (1958) of the treatment of mothers with their children at the Cassel Hospital. Particular interest in puerperal psychosis and dis orders of bonding and attachment led to units usually providing for babies below six or 12months. Suggesting older infants should also be admitted, Main referred to the benefits in admitting parents to paediatric wards with ill children, and described how toddlers had been admitted with their mothers at the Cassel. Another early unit at Banstead Hospital cared for schizophrenic mothers with their babies and found that joint admissions lead to faster recovery, lower relapse rates and more babies continuing to live with their mothers (Baker et al, 1961).
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