Have questions about how it all works?
We are happy to answer them. We've put together a list of some of our most common questions and their answers. If you cannot find the answer that you are looking for, please reach out to a member of our team. Want to know more about how substance use disorder may affect you and your baby? Click here for detailed information about the steps you can take if you are pregnant and facing opioid addiction.
Is Healthy MOMS an inpatient rehab program?
No, Healthy MOMS is not an inpatient rehab program. We believe in helping moms build healthy, sustainable lives in recovery from the comfort of their own community. When a mother joins our program, she will fill out a needs assessment, and a caseworker will be assigned to assist her in coordinating prenatal appointments, addiction services, housing services, legal services, etc. As part of our program, mothers are required to attend weekly check-ins with our team and see a physician on a biweekly basis.
Our team currently serves over 50 mothers throughout Lackawanna, Luzerne, Wayne, Susquehanna and Pike Counties, regardless of ability to pay. As of June 21, 2019, there have been 21 births within the program!
What if I am uninsured?
Healthy MOMS services are offered to patients free of charge, no matter their insurance status or ability to pay, and is made possible through generous grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs and AllOne Foundation.
If I disclose an addiction to my doctor, will Children and Youth try to take my baby away?
No, our goal is to help pregnant women build healthy sustainable lives in recovery so that they are able to care for their baby. We want to help women give birth to healthy babies and we understand the importance of keeping families together whenever possible.
What does Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) mean and what are the requirements of this program?
Medication Assisted Treatment is the use of medications in combination with counseling and behavioral health services to provide holistic patient-centered care for those facing addiction. MAT is a treatment option for people who have substance use disorders and is primarily used for the treatment of addiction to opioids such as heroin, prescription painkillers, stimulants, and alcohol. MAT can reduce cravings and withdrawal symptoms and allow the individual to focus on important lifestyle modifications that are key to recovery.
Can pregnant women be in an MAT program?
Yes, pregnant women can participate in the MAT program. Subutex is the medication used for pregnant women with substance use disorder. The overarching goals of therapy for substance use disorders during pregnancy are to provide medical support to prevent withdrawal during pregnancy, minimize fetal exposure to harmful substances, and empower the mother to become a leader in her recovery.
Such engagement provides the mother with the opportunity to receive medical and social support services which improve outcomes both during and after pregnancy.
Will I have to put my job or other family responsibilities on hold while I am in treatment?
No, you will not have to put your job or other family responsibilities on hold. As part of our program, you are required to attend weekly check-ins with our team and see a physician on a biweekly basis.
Do I have to tell my partner or my family I'm in treatment?
No, you do not have to tell your partner or family that you are in treatment. Your treatment information is private; however, sustainable recovery takes work and a healthy support network is a very important piece of treatment.
Does the Healthy MOMs program offer housing support?
The Support Services Navigation and Housing Service for Individuals with Opiate Use Disorder aims to connect people experiencing homelessness with safe, stable and permanent housing. Based on the Housing First approach, the program provides support to move individuals and families into housing as quickly as possible, with no pre-conditions and no wait-list. Priority is given to those experiencing the greatest barriers, including low/no income, poor rental history, criminal background and chronic homelessness.
This program is a collaboration between The Wright Center for Community Health and the United Way of Wyoming Valley. As of July 2019, nine Healthy MOMs clients are in the process of receiving housing assistance through this program. Ask your case manager how you can receive support through this program.
What kind of support is offered after I deliver the baby?
The Healthy MOMS team is committed to your recovery and we will continue to support mothers after they deliver their babies. Mothers can continue to be part of Healthy MOMS MAT program, provided by The Wright Center for Community Health. In addition, our team will help mothers make follow up appointments and establish care for their babies with one of our local doctors. Through our "Mommy Dollars" program, mothers can also earn points towards gift cards by keeping appointments and participating in services including support groups, AA meetings and parenting classes.
Will my baby need medication?
Treatment for babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) is unique for each baby. Some babies may need medications to treat severe withdrawal symptoms and to help relieve the discomfort and problems of withdrawal. Sometimes babies will need extra fluids, given intravenously, to prevent dehydration or high caloric baby formula for babies who need extra calories to help them grow. Most babies with NAS who get treatment get better in 5 to 30 days.
Will my baby remain with me in the hospital?
We understand how important it is for mothers to bond with their babies after birth. All babies will remain with their mothers whenever possible; however, sometimes babies born to mothers with Opioid Use Disorder will need to spend time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for close monitoring and/or treatment.
If I already had my baby, is it too late for me to join Healthy MOMs?
No, it is not too late to join Healthy MOMs if you already had your baby. Healthy MOMs accepts mothers living with substance use disorder who are currently expecting or have delivered within the past two years.
What is a Plan of Safe Care, and how can Healthy MOMs play a role?
Plans of Safe Care are required by federal and state laws for newborns affected by substance use or withdrawal symptoms resulting from prenatal drug exposure or FASD. Created by cross-systems partners and engaging the infant’s family, the goal of a Plan of Safe Care is to improve the safety, early childhood development and wellbeing of the infant and their family by connecting them to generational supports and services. Healthy MOMs has partnered with Lackawanna County Children and Youth Services to develop comprehensive Plans of Safe Care following birth.
What is Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome?
Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is a term used to describe a group of problems a baby experiences when withdrawing from exposure to drugs. Pregnant women who are using heroin, opioids (ex. prescription pain medications) and women undergoing MAT for opioid use disorders may give birth to babies born with NAS.
Common signs and symptoms of babies born with NAS include:
- Irritability (excessive crying)
- Sleep problems
- Fever or unstable temperature
- Tremors or Seizures
Ready to learn more?
We know that the system isn't easy to navigate. Get in touch with one of team members for guidance.