11.08.2010

Help for drug addicted newborns

After having a conversation about drug-addicted, abandoned newborns with a friend last week who is, with her partner, trying to conceive, I looked up PICC. Years ago, while working at a homeless shelter for women, I was introduced to the Pediatric Interim Care Center in Kent. Now a mother, the service being provided by PICC is very close to my heart. I hold and wear my baby most of the day, and have since she came home with us. Much of Pie’s first day of life was spent in my arms, but also in the little bassinet next to my bed in the hospital, since they didn’t permit co-sleeping. From her second night we have shared a family bed with daddy and Uncle Bugg the cat.

PICC offers 24-hour care for drug-exposed and medically fragile newborns, and offers medically-assisted withdrawal from drugs, including heroin, cocaine, meth, methadone, prescription drugs, and most alarmingly to me, a combination of these addictions. More than 12,000 infants are born each year with prenatal exposure to illicit drugs, according to their site.

Some mothers, addicted and homeless, don’t visit, don’t recover, and don’t take their babies home. For fragile babies, touch is so important and has been shown to improve outcomes for all babies.
PICC is the only 24-hour care center serving addicted newborns in Washington State. It is a non-profit organization run by dedicated staff and volunteers who are helping these newborns to fight through the impact of their mothers’ choices.

I’ve just sent two Costco cases of diapers (a desperate need) to PICC, and am going to try to volunteer as a “cuddler”, offering the touch-care that my little Pie receives every day. You can view their wish list, learn about volunteering or make a donation of cash, stock, baby items, vehicles, etc. This is something that I hope I can become involved with, and to help in offering these newborns a chance at a healthy life.

Visit their site and learn more. The site has information also about an upcoming feature on the show The Doctors.

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