For infants born here, that means being transferred to a hospital one hour away, a distance that can be hard for resource-strapped families and mothers to travel.
Staffers also say they can run into problems when trying to place the infant in foster homes. Children who are born addicted to opioids are given morphine treatments to ensure they are comfortable and don’t encounter the dangerous side effects of withdrawing too quickly. Over a number of weeks, the newborn is weaned off the morphine.
In the process, they can be fussy, hard to console and take care of, she said.
Because of that, some families who would otherwise be willing may pass up the opportunity to be a foster home, making placement for the opioid-addicted babies more difficult, she said.
Symptoms of a baby addicted to opioids may not appear for up to 72 hours after birth, she says. Babies born with the drugs in their system tend to be fussier and jittery. They may have diarrhea and appear agitated. They often have a very shrill cry, Baker-Limore says.
It’s hard to console the babies through traditional means of rocking or swaddling. There’s no escaping the withdrawal symptoms they are feeling inside them, she says.