News Channel 5 Nashville – New Mothers Battling Addiction Avoid Opiates After Birth


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Battling opioid addiction is tough enough. It can be even harder for a pregnant woman.

The Next Door is an organization that helps women, pregnant or not, battle their addiction to opiates.

For the most part, avoiding painkillers is the only option to continue recovery even after birth. Director of Nursing Nita Chester said the center is big on using anti-inflammatory medicine to treat post-surgery pain.

“Anti-inflammatory drugs are huge because they’re not mood altering and there’s no dependency,” Chester told NewsChannel 5. “The opioids just keep your brain from getting that pain signal while anti-inflammatory help ease that and the pain.”

The center currently has ten pregnant women in its facility. The team works closely with their physicians to assure a non-opioid treatment.

“If there is an opioid issue, the doctor typically doesn’t want to send them home because there’s fear of abusing them,” Chester added.

After birth, the women can return to the facility where there is medical care and close supervision. Chester said there has not been any complaints for the most part.

If for some reason they have to use an opioid, they are paired with an accountability partner.

Director of Outreach April Barnes also provides information on holistic approaches to treating pain.

“We talked about holistic healing, holistic therapies, and how to support your body in early recovery. We talked about essential oils and nutrients that you can get through your diet that can help reduction of inflammation,” Barnes said.

Barnes included that the women who take part are intrigued in exploring new options.

“The mind is a powerful thing. If you can just provide someone with hope during their experience here with you,” Barnes said.

If you or someone you know needs help, you can call The Next Door at 855-863-4673.

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