UCP’s Neonatal Program supports families whose children are exposed to substance abuse prenatally
At UCP’s Neonatal Support Program, we help mothers in Northern Berkshire County, whose infants have been exposed to substance abuse prenatally. If a child is born addicted, we track the child’s progress in each developmental area based on their substance exposure, prenatally.
Under the Department of Health (DPH) umbrella, infants who have the diagnosis of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) are automatically eligible for services up to one year, even if there is no developmental delay.
Babies diagnosed with NAS are referred to UCP from area hospitals and rehab clinics. Our maternal health nurse meets with the mother and infant in the hospital, then upon discharge we offer services in the home.
Our service coordinators typically work with developmental specialists who have access to a clinical therapists or mental health clinicians. UCP’s on-staff maternal health nurse has access to occupational therapists, physical therapy and speech therapists to help infants improve developmental and motor delays. Infants in this program typically get referred to our Early Intervention Program.
We also offer Parent Support Groups which meet weekly to discuss family and recovery issues to help mothers and families cope going forward. Our program turns no one away
Staff are trained with: Baystate Medical Center in “Parenting from the Inside Out,” a parenting program for mothers in recovery from substance use disorders (SUD). This program is evidence based and shown to improve the parent-child attachment and reduce the rate of relapse among families affected by SUD. Community-based Parent Infant Relationship Support is sponsored by the “Hello It’s Me Project” in collaboration with the University of Massachusetts — Boston Infant Parent Mental Health Program. The program promotes healthy relationships from birth.