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Addiction Treatment for Expectant Mothers

Nearly every drug an expectant mother uses can pass to her unborn baby through the placenta. If the mother uses opiate or narcotic drugs for any reason, the baby can become physically dependent and may go through withdrawal at birth. Crozer Health provides complete care for expectant mothers and babies struggling with addiction.

With experts in maternal-fetal medicine, neonatology, pediatrics and behavioral health, our experienced care team is able to treatment, support and recovery from pregnancy through the child’s early development.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) occurs when a baby who was exposed to addictive drugs in the womb experiences withdrawal after birth. For some infants that experience withdrawal, symptoms are serious enough that they require hospitalization and treatment.

Some of those symptoms are:

  • Trembling or tremors
  • Irritability or excessive crying
  • Sleep difficulties
  • High-pitched crying
  • Hyperactive reflexes
  • Seizures
  • Yawning, stuffy nose, and sneezing

All babies born at a Crozer Health facility with NAS symptoms will receive specialized supportive treatment throughout the withdrawal process. Despite this support, most babies will also require treatment for NAS symptoms with morphine or other medications.

Expectant Mothers Managing Addiction (EMMA) Program

The Expectant Mothers Managing Addiction (EMMA) support program is for women who are currently enrolled in the Crozer Health Recovery Center for intensive outpatient (IOP) treatment, with or without methadone, and are pregnant or immediately postpartum (typically six months or less).

The program meets every other Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to noon. The program is built into group time so there is no time added to IOP participation.

We offer therapeutic interventions, including:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Motivational interviewing and education
  • Healthy Start
  • Case management.
  • Additional resources

For more information about EMMA, call Allyson Sproul LCSW, CAADC at 610- 497-7282 or visit the Crozer Health Recovery Center.

Prevention, Education, Addiction, Recovery and Linkage Program

The Prevention, Education, Addiction, Recovery and Linkage (PEARL) program offers comprehensive intensive case management and nurse navigation services to assist expectant mothers who may be struggling with substance abuse on their journey to developing a healthy lifestyle and ultimately a healthy baby.

The PEARL team connects with mothers through outreach with physicians, community agencies and healthcare facilities throughout Delaware County. This includes Crozer Health and other facilities.

The PEARL team aims to begin working with mothers during the perinatal stage and provide ongoing support and ancillary services postnatal until the baby reaches two years of age.

PEARL services are available to mothers with Keystone First insurance. Mothers with other insurances who present to the program will be referred for assistance by the Crozer Health Opioid Treatment Center of Excellence team.