As a board-certified nurse in UHS Wilson Medical Center’s Perinatal Center, Charlene Greer, WHNP, gets to witness the many success stories of pregnant women participating in UHS’s comprehensive addiction treatment program.
Women come to the program in all stages of pregnancy and in active addiction. Their babies may be born with withdrawal symptoms. No matter the circumstances, “they are treated as people,” Ms. Greer says. “All are welcome.”
Ms. Greer cares for patients throughout the course of pregnancy and into the baby’s first months of life. Together with the New Horizons doctors, social workers and counselors, “we work as a team to personalize their care, centralize their maternity and perinatal appointments and intervene quickly when there are problems. Our goal is to make sure they are okay and their baby is okay. The feedback is that we are welcoming and not judgmental. From the front desk staff to the providers, it’s like a family.”
The support and many community connections provided, such as housing help, lift participants up, she says. “Sometimes that’s the one time in their adult life that they feel they are in control and responsible for themselves. It’s heartening to see people motivated to stay in the program, look for work and take care of their baby.”
New Horizons welcomes and cares for women at any stage of pregnancy, but Ms. Greer encourages women to seek help as early as possible. “Without adequate prenatal care, the mother and baby are at risk of severe health complications. The earlier they arrive in the pregnancy, the better outcomes we see.”
WE CAN HELP …
For help with addiction in pregnancy, call 762-2800 to for a confidential assessment.