Babies born with drug withdrawal receive gift bags - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Babies born with drug withdrawal receive gift bags

Students at Coastal Christian High School on Thursday donated 115 gifts bags to benefit babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) born with drug withdrawal symptoms. (SOURCE: WECT) Students at Coastal Christian High School on Thursday donated 115 gifts bags to benefit babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) born with drug withdrawal symptoms. (SOURCE: WECT)
The gift bags contain diapers, wipes, pacifiers, baby blankets, newborn onesies, and other baby essentials. (SOURCE: WECT) The gift bags contain diapers, wipes, pacifiers, baby blankets, newborn onesies, and other baby essentials. (SOURCE: WECT)
After a question and answer session with the medical caregivers at the high school, students loaded up two buses with the gift bags and delivered them to New Hanover Regional Medical Center. (SOURCE: WECT) After a question and answer session with the medical caregivers at the high school, students loaded up two buses with the gift bags and delivered them to New Hanover Regional Medical Center. (SOURCE: WECT)
WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -

Students at Coastal Christian High School on Thursday donated 115 gifts bags to benefit babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) born with drug withdrawal symptoms.

The gift bags contain diapers, wipes, pacifiers, baby blankets, newborn onesies, and other baby essentials. School faculty said students have been working for the past two weeks to collect supplies and prepare the bags.

“Having a baby is not cheap," said Brandi Page, Nurse Manager in the NICU at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. “Having the gifts you can truly use after you have a baby is really, really nice.”

“When families are in the hospital for a prolonged period of time, they have increased costs with transportation needs, food, all of those types of things" said Page.

When a child is exposed to addictive drugs, like heroin and prescription opioids in the womb, the baby may start their life dependent on the drug, experiencing problems like tremors, difficulty feeding and digesting, and unstable body temperature. This is called neonatal abstinence syndrome.

Babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome must stay in the hospital an average of 18 days after birth to recover from physical dependence on the drug, said Page.

In North Carolina, more and more babies are born with neonatal abstinence syndrome. From 2004 to 2012, the number increased five-fold, according to data from the North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics, Injury Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit.

After a question and answer session with the medical caregivers at the high school, students loaded up two buses with the gift bags and delivered them to New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

“It’s been really humbling and eye-opening," said Matthew Ward, a student who contributed to the newborn gift bags. "It's a really cool experience for a lot of our students because we are going to go to the hospital and deliver these bags and packages ourselves.”

School faculty said they plan to conduct a similar donation drive next year to benefit babies staying in the hospital for an extended number of days.

Copyright 2017 WECT. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly