When and FIA caseworker requests a meconium collection on newborn of a mother with a drug history, do your docs order this? What do you tell the mother?
Just curious. We are working on a protocol for this. I would appreciate any input.
Thanks for your help,
Jul 25, '03
by NICU_Nurse, ASN
If a mom was abusing drugs (you mentioned methamphetamines) early in pregnancy, even if she DID stop using for the remainder of the pregnancy, it would be bad judgement (IMO) to just assume that she's going to continue staying clean just because of the baby. For most people staying off of drugs isn't so easy, and pregnancy is temporary, just like staying straight can be. I am totally in support of the meconium testing, even in cases like the one you mentioned, because a red flag should go up when ANY drug use has taken place so that interventions can be made to assist mom in keeping clean and/or being a responsible parent. It's highly unlikely that whatever stressors or motivating factors that were present in the first trimester (those that "made" her or led to her doing drugs in the first place) would magically disappear. She needs counseling to STAY OFF drugs as much as a current user needs counseling to GET OFF drugs. Know what I mean?
If most of them start taking drugs "when they know they are about to deliver", it is extremely unlikely that this is a first-time occurrence. Would you agree? Furthermore, most of them don't do drugs because they are in labor; rather, they are in labor BECAUSE they're DOING drugs.
In the case of your friend and women like her, no, you shouldn't necessarily believe her. You can and SHOULD support her in whatever way you can, but the fact is that she endangered herself and her child by using, and the chance for her to change and be with her child should come as a result of counseling and supervision to ensure that she gets on and stays on the right road.
Last edit by NICU_Nurse on Jul 25, '03