Self-care matters started as a small personal recovery project in 2018, before going on to achieve registered charity status in July 2020. We received an award for ‘exceptional voluntary service’ from the British Prime Minister in June 2021.

Our primary charitable purpose is to provide FREE self-care boxes to women experiencing severe perinatal mental illness in NHS Mother & Baby Units (MBU’s).

We understand:

  • that expecting and having a baby can be a time of huge anxiety and vulnerability for some women.
  • that the causes of perinatal mental illness are often complex and multilayered.
  • that pregnant women and new mothers need compassion, kindness and acceptance- not judgement, criticism or stigma.

We are run on a purely volunteer basis. Therefore every single penny raised or donated goes directly to our cause.


The perinatal period is from late pregnancy to when a baby turns one.

Some women may present as mentally unwell for the first time during this time, other women may experience a reemergence or worsening of their existing mental health conditions.

Postnatal depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, complex trauma, bipolar disorder and postpartum psychosis are some of the diagnoses women on a Mother and Baby Unit may have. Of course women are individuals and often do not fit neatly into one diagnostic box.


A Mother and Baby Unit is an NHS inpatient psychiatric unit where women experiencing severe perinatal mental ill health can be treated safely without being separated from their baby.

There are currently 21 such units in the UK.

Women are often admitted at short notice and due to a relative shortage of units sometimes admitted a long way from home.

With this is mind our boxes include:

  • essential hygiene products for the hospital stay, e.g. a toothbrush, soap, shampoo.
  • comfort items, e.g. bubble bath, hand cream, sachets of tea & coffee.
  • distraction items, e.g. notepad, small puzzles, colouring books.
  • spare essentials for baby, e.g. nappy, wipes, baby wash.
  • a handmade mental health heart, made by a member of the public as a small keepsake of connection & hope.

Contents will vary slightly as most products are kindly donated to us from the general public, businesses and other organisations.

All items are brand new.