Centra's NICU pods will combat neonatal abstinence syndrome

New NICU Pods Will Combat Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

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Home > New NICU Pods Will Combat Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

New NICU Pods Will Combat Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Thursday, August 30, 2018

On August 13, 2018, Centra's Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery at Virginia Baptist Hospital opened four new pods to help babies who are born exposed to opioids or other substances. Each pod is a quiet, partitioned area within the NICU where a mother and baby can bond, and the baby can be kept calm to avoid over-stimulation. This addition to the NICU was made possible thanks to funding from the Children's Miracle Network.  

Centra NICU manager Larry Lilley explains that up to 35% of babies in the NICU at Virginia Baptist Hospital are born exposed and will go through neonatal abstinence syndrome. As a result of the national opioid crisis, the addiction rate of newborns has quadrupled over the past five years. "You need to keep in mind that this problem is not going away,” Lilley said. “That's why most hospitals are looking down the road to see what we can do to continue to do this better." The addition of the NICU pods is one of the many steps Centra is taking to address the local effects of the opioid crisis.

Centra Women and Children's Services’ perinatal outreach manager Shannon Miles explains, "Part of the initiative is to have these neonatal pods that are available so moms can be at the bedside with their infants, they can hold their infants, do skin to skin, breastfeed if they want to, pump if they need to, and have privacy. They will have the lights down for dimness, have quiet time — all these things that a baby who might experience neonatal abstinence will need."

With the addition of the pods, Centra is supporting these mothers and babies in building a healthy and happy new life together.