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Grant to Help Addicted Mothers

By Jason Weinstein.
A pilot grant could have a big impact on mothers fighting addiction while trying to raise their newborns.

Mothers and Babies Network received a $5,000 grant from the Community Foundation of South Central New York to work with women in Broome County's Drug Court and the methadone clinic at UHS. Often babies can be struggling with withdrawal themselves if their mothers are addicted.

This can lead to what's called Neo-Natal Abstinence Syndrome. That's a condition that can make the babies more difficult to care for. This grant will help teach mothers parenting skills and develop a care plan for their babies.

"They're going to be crying a lot more. They're going to be less cuddly, sometimes just very rigid, just harder to handle. Certainly we don't want to put that added stress on someone who is really working on their recovery," said Sharon Chesna, Executive Director of Mothers and Babies Perinatal Network.

Chesna says her agency identified the increased need for this service about a year and a half ago. She hopes to help 50 women in both the Drug Court and UHS methadone clinic this year.