A Two Generation Approach
Laura entered Santa Maria on July 4, pregnant, making a decision that she would break her addiction and bring a healthy baby into this world. Drug and alcohol were all she knew as a child, as her mother had been active in her addiction throughout this time. As Laura matured, she continued the pattern. She had lost everything to drugs, but she wasn’t willing to lose this child.
Laura was one of the first participants of the newly designed Ben Taub MPAT Clinic, an integrated prenatal clinic for pregnant and postpartum mothers with substance-use disorders. With the MPAT Clinic, Laura had a full team supporting her, including OB, psychiatry, nursing, social work, and her peer support specialist, Santa Maria recovery coach Michelle Hansford. This clinic, created through a partnership of Baylor College of Medicine, Harris Health, and Santa Maria, was designed to improve maternal and infant health outcomes by embracing every mother with respect and understanding, reducing the stigma attached with substance-use disorder so often found in healthcare settings, and improving access to integrated services that encompassed needs outside the traditional healthcare field such as transportation and housing.
Laura’s prenatal care was first rate, and her medication assisted treatment (MAT) was closely monitored and supported. At Santa Maria’s Jacquelyn House, she found herself in the company of many other women who had lived parts of her story, and she began to forgive herself for the choices she made. She started a life-long journey of recovery.
Her beautiful daughter, Bella, was born prematurely, and for the first month of life, Laura’s daily routine included a morning and afternoon trip to the hospital as well as the daily trip to the medication assisted treatment clinic for her medication for opioid use disorder. Santa Maria’s recovery coach and parent coach supported her throughout, providing emotional support, parent coaching, and tangible resources. Soon, the baby was healthy enough to come home.
Two years later, Bella is a charming toddler, full of smiles and quick with her words. She giggles when her mom calls her a “silly goose.” The strong connection between mother and child is evident.