For years, the opioid crisis has swept the nation. In 2019 alone, 50,000 people died from opiate overdoses, which can include prescription pills, heroin, and fentanyl. Sadly, pregnant women are no different; according to the CDC, the number of pregnant women battling opioid addiction has quadrupled between 1999 and 2014, with one baby diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) every 19 minutes. But for mothers in Cleveland, Ohio, a new maternity home is giving them a chance at hope, healing, and a fresh start.
The Moms House, launched by MetroHealth, is the first maternity home of its kind in the Cleveland area. Currently, it can house three women who will have a home throughout pregnancy and after they’ve given birth as well, through their baby’s first year. The women living there will have access to the full array of resources offered by MetroHealth to keep them sober and help them walk through recovery.
Dr. Jennifer Bailit, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, has long argued that women need more help as they juggle both sobriety and caring for a new child. “There’s so much more to health care than prescribing medicine,” Dr. Bailit said in a press release. “This program is adding another square in our quilt to wrap around the women in need in our community.”
Kimberly Glover is in recovery from addiction and currently serves as the “house mom,” there to serve as a mentor and confidant for the women. “I just know that this place is amazing,” she told FOX8. “Whether you want to call it magical or a miracle, that is what the Moms House is.”
The house is fully furnished, with each mother getting her own bedroom and bathroom. For Dr. Bailit, the goal is to keep moms and babies together, even as they struggle with recovery, which is even more difficult when they’re also recovering from childbirth and adjusting to motherhood.
“To my knowledge, this is the first facility that’s connected to a medical center,” Jessica Pippen, an OBGYN with MetroHealth, told News5 Cleveland. “Pregnancy in itself, given some of the major physical changes and major emotional changes, can place a woman in recovery at risk for relapse.”
Glover told News5 Cleveland she believes motherhood could be what these women need to turn the corner on addiction. “With alcoholism, I was powerless. It was like I was showing everybody an outside, not being able to be honest about myself on the inside, and falling apart. Where I would be helping my children, the only thing I would be thinking about was a next glass of wine,” she said. “When you have the opportunity to have a brand new relationship with someone that is amazing, and babies are brand new relationships and mothers will do anything for their children. I’m just grateful to be a part of someone’s new beginning.”
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