Social Worker, MSc, Special Needs Educator, Neonetal Intensive Care Unit, Ippokratio Hospital, Thessaloniki, Department of Developmental Pediatrics “Ap. Fokas”. Contact details: email@example.com
The present study tries to understand a number of factors that relevant to pregnancy and birth delivery of drug addicted women. The question is whether maternity on its own is a saficient factor for drug use discontinuation. A second question regards the course of life of the new born, immediately after birth delivery from a drug dependent mother. This is a study that also tries to reveal the characteristics and behavior of drug dependent women after birth delivery. The study focuses on 22 pregnant drug using women and their babies (24 in total) who were diagnosed with a neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome and beacause of that they had to be hospitalized in the 1st Neonetal Intensive Care Unit at Ippokrateio Hospital in Thessaloniki. Women and babies also received care from the social services for a period extending from 01-01-2009 to 31-12-2016. Data collection took place with the use of the already existing medical and social records of women and babies that is taken during hospitalization. Drug using women who just delivered birth seem to have a greater need for drug use. Stereotypes following women as ‘bad’ mothers, incapable of expressing care for the newborn still prevail. The study reveals that this is a time that women also need emotional support and tangible care at the time of birth delivery. The study does not intent to show a linear relationship between drug use and birth delivery. It rather strives to demonstrate that birth delivery is a significant event in the life of the drug using women. Birth delivery in itself is sourounded by myths, subjective interpretations and calls for an ‘action plan’ in relation to drug use behavior.
Key-words: drug using women, motherhood, neonatal withdrawal syndrome.