Since there is a growing opioid epidemic in the country, more babies are addicted to drugs now than ever. The use of opioids during pregnancy can cause babies to be born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome which is a drug withdrawal disorder. The rate of babies going through these withdrawals has increased “nearly fivefold” over the past decade, according to a 2016 report.
The symptoms of this syndrome consist of irritability, fussiness, trouble sleeping, and eating, vomiting, and or suffering from tremors. These babies spend time in the hospital to wean off of their drug dependency and in the future, a lot of these babies experience struggles learning.
Although it is hard to treat babies like this, especially since the epidemic is growing, several hospitals around the United States have found that holding and cuddling these babies can help ease their symptoms.
Neonatal specialist, Dr. Amanda Graf, says that “If you talk to any of our staff members that take care of these babies, and even the family members, they will tell you that their babies do better when they are held,”
People have been signing up left and right to help this cause. Think about it, you’d be cuddling and hugging babies and easing them from their horrible symptoms.
“My children are grown and out of the house and I miss that nurturing you have with babies. And I felt, with this program specifically, if I can help another mom when she’s not able to be here and cuddle her baby, then I would love to do that and be of assistance to her,” says volunteer, Laurie Mays.