TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– DeAnna Griffin has worked with people dealing with substance abuse disorder for years.

She says the situation can be especially traumatic for mothers who give birth. The baby can develop neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS, and the newborn would be separated from the mother.

“Negative effects I’ve seen is when a baby is removed from her mother and she has substance abuse disorder and no treatment or any of that, that’s another trauma [for the mom], and from another trauma that can often lead to recurrence of use,” Griffin said.

Now, Union Hospital is changing how they will treat newborns in this situation. Earlier this month they started a treatment program named Eat Sleep Console.

Eat Sleep Console was developed by Dr. Matthew Grossman at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital. Project manager Sarah Briley said the program focuses on keeping the mother and child together.

“With Eat Sleep Console we really want the mom and the baby to stay together, with the mom acting as the medicine. Encouraging breastfeeding, skin-to-skin, providing a low simulation environment to make sure that the mom and baby are bonding,” she said.

Briley said they’ve been working with local providers and shareholders to start the program back in November.

She said another benefit of this program is shortening the hospital stay for the newborns involved.

If the infant was receiving pharmacologic intervention in the [neonatal intensive care unit], their average length of stay is about 23 days,” she said. “With Eat Sleep Console that’s drastically reduced because they are not having that pharmacologic intervention.”

Griffin said it’s important for resources go into programs like this that benefit those dealing with addiction.

“Substance abuse disorder effects everybody. It’s a community disease. It’s a community problem.”