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New Online Toolkit for Health Care and Treatment Providers Caring for Substance Exposed Mothers and Babies

Health Management Associates, California Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative, and California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative gathered a diverse task force of obstetric and pediatric providers, anesthesiologists, nurses, social workers, and public health professionals to create a comprehensive, practical toolkit focused on maternal and newborn care from the prenatal period through hospital discharge. The Mother & Baby Substance Exposure Initiative (MBSEI) toolkit is designed to support the preparation of maternity and pediatric caregivers, and a broad group of service providers to overcome barriers and deliver safe, effective, and coordinated care for mothers and newborns affected by opioid use disorder.

The overarching goals of the toolkit are to support providers’ efforts to address the full continuum of care for mothers and babies affected by opioid and other substance use disorders while maintaining the mother/baby dyad whenever possible. This is accomplished through the provision of numerous evidence-based, best practices addressing screening for identification, treatment for the mother and the exposed infant, care transitions, and education options for staff and families. The toolkit considers the intricacies that potential scenarios present: difficulties in screening, stigmatized care, variability of provider and staff knowledge, the challenges of care coordination, and the different settings in which services may be provided. These goals drive a lucidity of purpose to offer safe, effective, patient-centered, hopeful care that is free of stigma and prejudice.

The online toolkit is an outcome of the Mother & Baby Substance Exposure Initiative, one of several California MAT Expansion projects. The goal of MBSEI is to increase access to MAT using the three FDA-approved medications for the treatment of opioid use disorder, reducing unmet treatment need, and reducing opioid overdose related deaths through the provision of prevention, treatment and recovery activities for opioid use disorder (OUD). Anticipated outcomes of the initiative include reduction in neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) severity and length of stay in the hospital, and increase the number of mothers in long-term recovery.