Maternal and Child Health and Wellness
Helping Babies and Supporting Parents
American Indian/Alaska Native communities have long recognized the importance of community, family, and planning for the next Seven Generations. The role of elders as cultural leaders and children as the future is well understood. Tribes understand the importance of making a positive impact on the health of communities by contributing to the well-being of mothers, babies, fathers, children, and families.
The IHS has partnered with tribes, the Office of Women's Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Committee on Native American Child Health (CONACH), and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) to develop two guidelines focused on providing standards of care surrounding screening, diagnosing, and treatment of pregnant mothers and infants affected by prenatal opioid exposure.
A comprehensive approach to care for pregnant and parenting people, infants, and children starts with prenatal care and extends well into childhood. These resources will help providers improve maternal participation in early prenatal care and promote active participation in recovery strategies to improve overall outcomes for infants born with Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome (NOWS).
Plans of Safe Care Toolkit
Clinicians can impact and improve outcomes for American Indian and Alaska Native pregnant and parenting people experiencing substance use disorders. To assist these efforts, the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB), alongside clinicians and individuals in recovery, developed a Plans of Safe Care Toolkit.
The toolkit includes a comprehensive guide for clinicians [PDF - 8.9 MB], handouts for pregnant and parenting people and their supports, and posts to share on social media. It is designed to help clinicians care for pregnant and parenting people and their infants impacted by substance use disorders, support pregnant and parenting people transition into and remain in active recovery, and assist affected partners and families in growing stronger.
AAP NOWS and ACOG Best Practice Recommendations
AAP released clinical best practice recommendations on prevention and management of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome, or NOWS, for IHS,[PDF - 551 KB] tribal, and urban Indian organization health care facilities.
The recommendations are a companion guide to the clinical recommendations to improve care of American Indian and Alaska Native pregnant women and women of childbearing age with opioid use disorder.[PDF - 1.1 MB]
Some hospitals and birth centers have taken special steps to create the best possible environment for successful breastfeeding. These hospitals, called Baby-Friendly Hospitals, offer women who deliver there the information and support they need to breastfeed their infants. Learn more about the IHS Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.
- AAP Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome (NOWS) Recommendation Report [PDF - 556 KB]
- American Academy of Pediatrics: Short- and Long-term Effects on the Exposed Fetus [PDF - 769 KB]
- CDC Treating for Two - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Clinical Guidance for Treating Pregnant and Parenting Women with Opioid Use Disorder and Their Infants [PDF - 855 KB] - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
- Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome - National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare (NCSACW)
- Obstetric Care for Women with Opioid Use Disorder - Council on Patient Safety in Women's Health Care
- Plans of Safe Care Toolkit - The Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB)
- Tapping Tribal Wisdom:Providing Collaborative Care for Native Pregnant Women With Substance Use Disorders and Their Infants [PDF - 1 MB]