Following White House Proclamation, MotherToBaby Offers One-Stop for Latest Information about Opioid Effects on Developing Babies

BRENTWOOD, TN –A series of new opioid-specific fact sheets, blogs and a recent webinar are just some of the pregnancy and breastfeeding-related resources unveiled by MotherToBaby, a service of the non-profit Organization of Teratology Information Specialists (OTIS), in response to the alarming toll opioid addiction is taking on communities from coast to coast. The new resources come as the U.S. recognizes National Recovery Month and the White House proclaims September 16 – 22, 2018 Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week.

MotherToBaby is recommended by many agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for evidence-based information about exposures, like opioids, during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It has 15 affiliates across the country that provide this service to all 50 states as well as the US territories.

The new MotherToBaby resources surrounding opioids can be found at www.MotherToBaby.org/opioids and include resources to help healthcare providers, addiction specialists, and women struggling with addiction to prescription and illicit drugs:
• Evidence-based fact sheets on a variety of opioids such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, morphine, buprenorphine, heroin, hydromorphone, methadone, codeine and tramadol.
• A webinar for health care providers on Opioid Abuse in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding, conducted by OTIS, the National Society of Genetic Counselors, the Society of Maternal-Fetal Medicine and the Teratology Society.
• Opioid-specific blogs authored by teratogen information specialists, experts in assessing birth defects risks from exposures during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
• Ways for women and health care providers to receive free and confidential personalized risk assessments through MotherToBaby’s toll-free helpline (866) 626-6847, text line (855) 999-3525 (standard messaging rates may apply), live chat and email-an-expert services.
• Additional resources for addiction support.

“It’s reached the level where it’s almost on a daily basis that I take care of pregnant and breastfeeding women struggling with opioid dependency,” said Sarah Obican, MD, Maternal-Fetal Medicine Subspecialist at the University of South Florida and director of the new MotherToBaby Florida affiliate set to open in November. Florida is just one of the states where health officials and providers are seeing the opioid epidemic unfold first-hand. Rates of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) among Florida’s infants have increased over the past four years, according to the Florida Birth Defects Registry which tracks the number of infants diagnosed with NAS.

“While there’s no evidence at this time of an increased risk for birth defects, babies with NAS born to opioid-addicted mothers may be at an increased risk for adverse neurobehavioral effects,” explained Dr. Obican. “They are simply not getting the best possible start to life that they deserve, but we can change that by supporting mom and getting her the resources she needs.”

More about MotherToBaby, a service of OTIS.
OTIS is a professional scientific society made up of individuals engaged in assessing and evaluating risks to pregnancy and breastfeeding from environmental exposures. Members include, but are not limited to, specialists in the fields of: obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, genetics, dysmorphology, perinatal epidemiology, teratology, behavioral teratology, pharmacy, genetic counseling, nursing, midwifery, maternal and child health, public health, and includes experts that provide MotherToBaby services and researchers that conduct MotherToBaby Pregnancy Studies. MotherToBaby is a suggested resource by many federal agencies including the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Office of Women’s Health. MotherToBaby has been able to embark on new outreach efforts to reach underserved populations and launch new communication technologies, such as the MotherToBaby app (available for free download on iOS and Android markets), through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, as well as through the generous donations made by the public. To learn more about MotherToBaby, the ways to contact its network of experts, or how to support its services, please visit www.MotherToBaby.org.

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Media Contact: Nicole Chavez, 619-368-3259, nchavez@MotherToBaby.org. Interviews in Spanish are also available.