Thrive by IU Health

June 01, 2021

A clean start for mom and baby

IU Health Bloomington Hospital

A clean start for mom and baby

Time is a funny thing. Years can fly by as you’re living your day-to-day life. Minutes start to feel like hours as you’re waiting for a small, plastic stick to tell you if you’re pregnant.

Reading the word “positive” makes the world feel like it’s tilting. Then, your eyes glide across the room to the small stash of drugs hidden away in your closet.

Addiction is a hard fight and the new IU Health Community Health Family Vitality Initiative is here to help. After all, caring for the health of your baby starts now.

Using addictive and/or illegal drugs while pregnant can result in miscarriages, but they can also cause problems including lifelong health issues for the child and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome in the baby after birth. The Family Vitality Initiative works with moms in order to reduce these risks and the risk of infant mortality.

A. Lillette Wood, MD (left) | Lori Terrell (right)
A. Lillette Wood, MD (left) | Lori Terrell (right)

“This free program works on trying to navigate high-risk, pregnant moms that have substance use into care,” said Lori Terrell, Family Vitality Initiative Clinical Manager.

This care can include substance abuse programs, obstetric care and pediatric care for the babies after birth. The only requirements are that the woman is pregnant and has substance use issues.

“Lori is able to provide help with coordination of appointments, and connecting clients to transportation and housing resources,” said Women’s Health provider A. Lillette Wood, MD. “She is able to provide patient education directly as well.”

The program also assists people living with the mother on their journey to sobriety. This can be important for helping the mother stay clean, but it’s also a way to lower the risk of infant mortality after the baby is born. A sober home is a safer home.

“Lori Terrell with this initiative is really an asset for our patients and is making a difference in helping our community to become healthier,” said Wood.

Terrell emphasized the importance of these moms knowing throughout this journey that they are worth the efforts of being sober.

“Many people tried and failed many times before they successfully got on a path to sobriety,” said Terrell. “Typically, pregnant moms are more willing to make a change because it’s no longer just them. It’s now them and the baby.”

Learn more about the Family Vitality Initiative.

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