A mother gives birth to a beautiful baby boy. It should be the greatest day of their lives, but the baby is taken from the mother and brought to the maternity observation unit to be monitored. The baby is crying as most infants do, but this baby is different. This little infant is suffering at no fault of his own. He is feeling the effects of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) or in layman's terms, infant opiate withdrawal.
Most newborn's do not feel the effects of NAS untill after the first day of birth, but some extreme cases have shown babies right out of the womb are suffering from these symptoms. These are symptoms of a baby whose mother was addicted to opiates during her pregnancy. It's sad and agonizing to think that an innocent child must go through withdrawal.
Some of the withdrawal symptoms in infants may include trembling, sweating, hyperactive reflexes, excessive high-pitched crying, diarrhea, and vomiting. Neonatal abstinence syndrome can last anywhere from one week up to 6 months.
One state is starting a pilot program named Maternal Opiate Medical Support (MOMS). The program is headed by the Governor of Ohio, John Kasich. The main purpose of the program is to help pregnant women quit their addictions and provide treatment so their babies never suffer from withdrawals. The program also includes plans for the care of the newborns that are affected by NAS. In the state of Ohio during 2011, the Ohio Hospital Association reported 1,649 admissions for the treatment of neonatal abstinence syndrome. That equaled more than 19,000 days of hospital stays, costing more than $70 million.
Since MOMS is a pilot program it will only provide about 200 mothers and babies addiction treatment and counseling over a three-year period. But in the long run, the state government is hopeful it will pay off with programs to help even more mothers and babies. With MOMS having a price tag of $4.2 million, it may cause some questioning from a financial standpoint. But with education and treatment to help get expecting mothers off of opiates, this will reduce healthcare costs for infants suffering from NAS.
When it comes to helpless infants, their suffering is no fault of their own. It should be in the child's best interest to do whatever it takes to help stop this growing problem. Educating mothers on how opiates affect their body during pregnancy and most importantly the consequences felt by the baby should be a priority as the United States faces an opiate epidemic. Seeking out help may be hard, but nothing will be worse than seeing an infant in pain because of their mother's addiction.
Disclaimer: Never take CalmSupport, or any other vitamins or supplements while pregnant. Always consult with your doctor or medical professional before you change your diet, lifestyle or start taking any vitamins or supplements, especially if your pregnant. Your doctor will help you make the best and safest choices for your unborn child.