A program dedicated to helping pregnant mothers addicted to opiates is showing significant improvements for both them and their dependent babies.
"One of the things we've been trying to change is the fear that they have coming into the hospital," Dr. Ann Marie Golioto said.
At least 40 women walk through the doors of Hartford Healthcare in New Britain every year both as expecting moms and opiate addicts.
"They know that there's potentially something wrong or they know there's going to be treatment involved with their baby," Golioto said.
But Golioto, a neonatologist and the medical director of the newborn nursery and neonatal ICU, said the Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome program has helped nearly all of them leave with babies who did not have to be treated with medication for their drug dependencies.
"We teach them how to calm their baby, teaching the signs that were looking for so that they can better identify when their babies going through withdraw," Carolyn Rossi said.
Rossi, A NICU nurse, credits the program’s use of alternative methods for opiate-addicted moms and dependent babies for bringing down the number of infants using pharmacological treatment for withdrawal.
"I think the first year we had probably a third of them, the second year we had half of them and this year we had two which you can count them and that's unbelievable," Rossi said.
"When you give them that, it empowers them it says I've messed up in my life and some have and you just go down a bad road and a lot of times you look and some of the women have had tragedy," Samantha Fair said.
Fair, a clinical nurse leader for women and infants, is often the first face addicted moms meet, she and social worker Sarah Benham work hand in hand in helping bring long-term success.
"We’ve seen them go to women and children's programs to get clean to be titrated down off their maintenance medication to better themselves and for their families," Benham said.