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Lavender Mother and Baby Unit

The Lavender Mother and Baby Unit is a four bed specialist state-wide acute service located at Gold Coast University Hospital. The unit provides specialist care for women who require admission to hospital for significant mental health difficulties in the first year following childbirth that impact on their ability to function in everyday life and to care for their child.  Women and their babies will be admitted if the mother has significant mental health problems such as severe depression, anxiety, or a psychotic illness such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, or postpartum psychosis who cannot be safely managed in the community.

The unit is supported by the Lavender Perinatal Mental Health Community Team who will assess and triage potential referrals to the Lavender unit and facilitate with discharge back to the referring service. Where a referral is not accepted, the team can provide consultation and liaison to develop a treatment plan and/or provide sign posting to local services.

Inpatient Services provided

The unit is led by a Consultant Psychiatrist who is supported by a multidisciplinary team of mental health nurses, occupational therapist, social worker, clinical psychologist, dietitian, physiotherapist, and Infant mental health liaison. Additionally, the service is supported by Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service’s Community Child Health Service and Paediatrics regarding the baby’s health, wellbeing and development. 

How to access the service

This service is accessed via medical practitioners and your local mental health services.

Eligibility criteria

The Lavender Mother and Baby Unit provides specialist care for women who require admission to hospital for significant mental health difficulties in the year following childbirth that impact on their ability to function in everyday life and to care for their child. The Unit can only provide care to women who reside in Queensland.

This includes women with:

  • postpartum psychosis
  • relapse of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder in the postpartum
  • severe anxiety and/or depressive disorder
  • women with complex mental health problems which may include a history of trauma, personality disorder and substance misuse that is impacting significantly on their parenting.

Who can refer?

  • General practitioner
  • Obstetrician
  • Paediatrician
  • Psychiatrist
  • Mental health services.

Information for service providers

How to make a referral
  • Assess woman based upon eligibility criteria.
  • If unsure regarding suitability for referral, please telephone Lavender Mother Baby Unit Intake on (07) 5687 7064 between 8am-4pm Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).
  • Complete referral form and fax to (07) 5687 7814 or email to  
  • Referrals will be discussed during working hours as stated above and the referrer will be notified of the outcome within two (2) working days.  Should the referral be accepted, a further assessment will occur which either may be face to face or via video link with the patient and referrer.
  • The baby will require a pre-admission health screen to ensure that the baby is well and free of infectious diseases.  There is no capacity to admit ill infants.
  • For appropriate prioritisation of the referral, please provide weekly updates as a minimum via phone or email as above.
  • When a bed becomes available the referrer and patient will be contacted. The patient leaflet suggests what the mother should bring.
  • Lavender Mother and Baby Unit admissions are planned and will occur Monday to Friday 8am-4pm.
  • Please note that Lavender Mother and Baby Unit is not responsible for management of the patient prior to admission if there is a delay. The referrer holds the responsibility and governance of the woman and baby’s care and management until they are admitted.
External Links - Mothers and Family Members
Website Description
Raising Children Network For concerns about parenting and child development 
Infant immunisations For information about your infant’s vaccination schedule
Queensland Centre for Perinatal and Infant Mental Health For information about perinatal services around Queensland
Centre of Perinatal Excellence For information that helps mothers work through all the emotional challenges of becoming and being a parent.
Find a mental health service For additional mental health resources and ability to search for mental health services
Children of Parents with a Mental Illness For concerns about how a parent’s mental health illness may affect parenting 
Community Child Health Service For general concerns about a child’s development and health
13 HEALTH call-line For urgent mental health enquiries as this is a 24 hour hotline.
Women’s Health Antenatal and postnatal depression booklet For information about depression before and after birth. 
Women’s Health Antenatal and Postnatal Anxiety For information about anxiety before and after birth.
MumSpace For support for the emotional health of new mums with online treatments
Partner support For partners of women with mental health difficulties who would like further support
Pregnancy Birth and Baby For information to support new mothers with mental health difficulties and parenting concerns
Parentline For information to parents who have mental health difficulties or parenting concerns
Kids Count For information about baby and toddler behaviour
Black Dog Institute For information about maternal depression, personality disorder and anxiety
National Health Services Directory Provides a central location which stores information about all perinatal resources 
Baby Steps Provides a free online program to enhance well-being of new mums and dads 


External Links - Health Professionals
Website Description
Bumps - Best Use of Medicines in Pregnancy Expert information about medication exposures during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Mother to Baby Medications Evidence-based information on medication and other chemicals to which women in the perinatal period may be exposed.
Centre of Perinatal Excellence For information that helps clinicians assess and treat mental illnesses using evidence-based approaches
Children of Parents with a Mental Illness For research summaries of assessment and interventions for families with mental illnesses
Queensland Centre for Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Library Guide Assistance with literature searches related to perinatal and infant mental health.


Opening hours:  8am-4pm

Last updated 13 Feb 2019