More Rhode Island babies are being born dependent on the opioid drugs their pregnant mothers were taking. Their condition, called neonatal abstinence syndrome, sometimes requires hospital stays and powerful medications. In the second of our two-part series, the story of a newborn going through withdrawal and a young mother trying to make a new life for him in recovery. (You can listen to part one of our series here.)
Visiting baby Jonathan “Where’s everybody headed?”
These newborns are both being treated for withdrawal from opioids in a nursery at Women & Infants. They've been swaddled tightly to help them feel safe and calm, and these "swings" rock them gently from side to side.
The rising number of Rhode Islanders struggling with an addiction to prescription painkillers and heroin has brought an increase in babies born addicted to these substances. And Women & Infants Hospital is treating a growing number of them.
A labor dispute at Women and Infants Hospital in Providence has erupted over the layoff of 16 staff members. The layoffs, and the dispute, turn on the definition of a single word: deliveries.
Members of the Service Employees International Union local 1199 are picketing outside Women and Infants over the hospital’s decision to cut several cleaning, lab, and clinical staff. Union spokesman Patrick Quinn says his members dispute the hospital’s claim that the number of deliveries – and therefore the need for as many staff – has dropped below 8500 over the past year.
Women and Infant’s Hospital held a party for four year olds Sunday.
Janessa Padella is a perfectly normal three year old with curly brown hair and big brown eyes. But when she was born in 2009 she weighed just 14 ounces. She was the smallest of the premature baby class of 2009 invited to Women and Infant’s Hospital yesterday for a birthday party. Only children who weighed less than two pounds, 12 ounces were invited.
Janessa’s mother, Vannesa Rodriguez, remembers the terror she felt that she might lose her severely underdeveloped child.