Pregnant women who are addicted to opiates face an increased risk of health complications from both the drug use and the lack of prenatal care.
Every woman who gives birth at Blanchard Valley Hospital is screened for drugs in her system, something that is standard at most hospitals. But by then, the effects of the mother’s drug use on the baby could include dependence on the drug, inhibited development, weight loss, sleeplessness, low birth weight and seizures.
MOMS to the rescue
In Hancock County, a new program called the MOMS (Maternal Opiate Medical Support) project, is a collaborative effort between Blanchard Valley Health Systems, A Renewed Mind, Century Health, and Full Circle. The program’s goal is to engage women during their pregnancies and to provide the appropriate treatment in order to reduce the effects of drug use on moms and their babies.
MOMS project wants women to feel welcomed, and not ashamed, to come to them for help. Each woman who joins the MOMS project receives individualized care. Prenatal care is a coordinated effort involving an obstetric provider, outpatient mental health providers, outpatient medication assisted treatment specialists and the Blanchard Valley Labor and Delivery Department.
The program includes medication-assisted treatment to help the women and their fetuses detox safely. The medication does not cause euphoria and is used to help diminish withdrawal symptoms in the mother and the fetus. Expectant mothers also participate in weekly MOMS meetings with education on topics like how to care for a newborn baby, what to expect in labor and delivery, the signs of postpartum depression, accessing local resources and how to stop smoking. The MOMS project strives to keep the mothers engaged after delivery, too, because the postpartum period can often be marked by anxiety, depression, hormonal changes and lifestyle changes that increase the risk of relapse.
Empowering expectant mothers
The goal of the MOMS project is to provide a resource to expectant mothers within Hancock County to help them get clean safely, receive the proper prenatal care, and learn new life skills in the process. By empowering these mothers-to-be to change their lives, get healthy, and be confident in their ability to be mothers, their babies have a significantly increased chance of thriving.
For more information, call the MOMS project at 419-429-0170 or A Renewed Mind at 419-422-7800.