For the past six months we’ve been trying to think of ways to help babies with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). NAS is the clinical, and somewhat euphemistic term, for babies born addicted to drugs. It’s become an epidemic in our country.
The stories, pictures and videos are heart wrenching. It seems like I read a story weekly that leaves me weeping on my Mac…and feeling completely helpless.
Some of the ideas the Giving Board and I have tossed around like care packages, baby blankets, stuffed animals, monetary donations, diapers, and volunteering seem so inadequate in comparison to the problem.
While researching one day, I came across an article about a hospital in New Hampshire that’s had success in easing the pain of the babies who cry for hours on end, sometimes for up to three months, as their fragile, tiny bodies battle withdrawal symptoms.
The hospital started using alternative therapies like aromatherapy, music and Reiki massage to calm the babies and have experienced positive results. Lavender and peppermint essential oils, specifically, seem to have an almost calming effect on the babies, helping them off to sleep.
This amazing revelation sparked an idea and was the inspiration for United Service Corps providing neonatal units in hospitals across the country with essential oil diffusers. Our hope is that the Giving Hope Diffusers provide even a few moments respite from the suffering for these little angels.
You can donate a diffuser to a neonatal unit and help us Give Hope to not only the babies and their families, but the stretched-thin nursing and medical staff who care for these infants day in and day out.