Neonatal abstinence syndrome treatment in Richmond, Virginia

At Henrico Doctors’ Hospital, we provide comprehensive treatment for maternal addiction and infant withdrawal syndrome. Pregnancy can be overwhelming enough without the added challenge of addiction to drugs or alcohol. Our hospital offers life-changing and life-saving care to pregnant and postpartum women struggling with substance abuse.

Call us at (804) 977-5862 to learn more about the services and care we offer for maternal addiction at Henrico Doctors' Hospital.

Our hospital, along with our sister hospital Parham Doctors’ Hospital, offers the Safe Circle RVA program. We have helped many women give their babies the healthiest start to life possible. Through this program, we guide women through pregnancy, connecting them to the right specialists, social workers and community resources. With respectful treatment for parents and advanced care for babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), we are here for your entire family.

Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS)

Neonatal abstinence syndrome refers to one of the problems babies may experience when they go through drug or alcohol withdrawal. Women who take drugs during pregnancy give birth to babies who are addicted to those same drugs.

When the umbilical cord is cut after birth, your baby’s supply of the substance is cut off, causing the baby to go “cold turkey". When this occurs, your baby may begin to show painful or challenging withdrawal symptoms anywhere from 24 hours to seven days after birth, also called neonatal withdrawal syndrome.

NAS symptoms

Babies exposed to drugs and alcohol may experience complications in the womb and after birth. NAS affects each child differently once he or she is born. Factors include the type of drug used, how frequently it was used, the last time it was used and whether the baby was born full term. Common symptoms of NAS include:

  • Tremors
  • High-pitched crying
  • Excessive crying
  • Sleep problems
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Inability to suck or feed
  • Dehydration
  • Seizures
  • Tight muscle tone
  • Unstable body temperature

Drugs associated with NAS

Most cases of NAS are linked to drugs called opioids, although symptoms are also linked to other prescription medications, alcohol, nicotine and street drugs. Talk to your doctor right away if you are pregnant and using any of the following:

  • Hydrocodone, commonly known as Vicodin®
  • Oxycodone, also known as OxyContin®and Percocet®
  • Codeine
  • Morphine, including brand-name drugs KADIAN®and Avinza®
  • Tramadol
  • Heroin
  • Antidepressants
  • Sleeping pills, a class of drugs called benzodiazepines

Safe Circle RVA

Safe Circle RVA is a program that addresses substance use and helps you manage your pregnancy. It involves a partial hospitalization program, also known as a day treatment program. You will receive medical and behavioral health services in our facility several hours a day, up to five days a week, but you are able to return to your own home in the evening.

We also connect you to the resources you need to proudly and confidently maintain your sobriety as a new mother. Our program offers:

  • Safe, physician-guided detox
  • Goal setting and treatment planning
  • Daily progress meetings with you and our staff to identify areas of concern and discuss your goals
  • Structured group therapy session with other pregnant moms
  • Introduction to other local recovery resources, including 12-step programs
  • Psychiatric evaluations and care
  • Medication management
  • Ongoing obstetric care to monitor your baby’s growth and development
  • Birth planning, including getting ready for labor and delivery and preparing for any immediate medical care your baby may need
  • Self-directed assignments focused on self-discovery, behavior insights and preventing relapse
  • Family meetings designed to help you create a healthy support system
  • Continued care throughout your postpartum recovery

Why choose our maternal addiction program

Quitting substance abuse early in your pregnancy reduces your baby’s exposure and risk of addiction and withdrawal symptoms. Although, we are aware that quitting is much easier said than done. That is why we offer:

  • Intense, focused treatment. Our unique day treatment model allows you to receive medical care, individual counseling and peer support tailored to your individual needs.
  • Long-term, comprehensive support. You have access to an entire team of medical professionals and substance abuse experts on your side, throughout your pregnancy and after your child is born.
  • Leading high-risk pregnancy care. Our maternal-fetal medicine doctors (perinatologists) will carefully monitor you and your baby during your pregnancy to prevent or treat preterm labor and other problems.
  • Expert neonatal intensive care.
  • The experienced neonatologists and nursing staff in our Level III NICU cares for Richmond’s most vulnerable babies.
  • Courtesy and respect. We treat women of all ages, from all walks of life, in a non-judgmental environment where respect, honesty and diversity are valued.