Melania Trump visited a Boston hospital on Wednesday to learn about a cuddling program designed to treated babies born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.
For the visit, Melania wore a forest green peacoat from Joseph. The “New Hector” is a short felted double breasted wool peacoat that features napoleonic collar, chest welt pockets and a single-vent at back hem. It retailed for $835 and is on sale for $392 at theoutnet.com. She teamed the peacoat with grey plaid pants. It is unknown what exact brand the pants are from. She kept the coat on and buttoned up during her visit and teamed the whole ensemble with black suede Christian Louboutin pumps.
The first lady’s stop at BMC is part of her “Be Best” initiative. Joined by Health and Human Services Secretary Azar, they met with leadership and staff from Boston Medical Center during a roundtable discussion. The first lady participated in a roundtable discussion with Massachusetts governor’s wife, Lauren Baker, BMC president Kate Walsh, along with other doctors at the hospital.
The First Lady received a briefing on the hospital’s programs that center on the care of mothers and their children. Project RESPECT provides medically assisted treatment to nearly 200 women annually, creating a more stable environment for babies. Cuddling Assists in Lowering Maternal and Infant Stress (CALM) is a program that utilizes volunteers from within the community to hold babies with NAS, providing them comfort while decreasing their withdrawal symptoms when the child’s parent is not available.
The final program discussed was the Supporting Our Families Through Addiction and Recovery (SOFAR) Clinic. The SOFAR Clinic, launched in 2017, focuses on the wellness of a family during the recovery process. The program’s overall goal is to maintain the health of the family and to provide them with the education and resources they need to overcome the lasting effects of addiction.
“I hope today’s visit helps shine a light,” Melania said. “It is my hope that what we discuss today will encourage others to replicate similar programs within their own communities. It is so important to acknowledge and show gratitude for what you’re doing to help mothers who are struggling with addiction and babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome.”
The hospital developed the program to nurture babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome. The hospital also works with expectant mothers who misuse drugs or alcohol. Proponents say cuddling helps lower stress in infants born to addicted women. It includes parental presence at the infant’s bedside, skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding.
After being briefed on the programs, Melania toured the hospital’s pediatric unit and met with children who have been successfully treated. She met with children and families who are currently enrolled in the hospital’s recovery program, SOFAR, and learned about their experiences with NAS and opioid addiction.
In 2015, the rate of babies born addicted to drugs in Massachusetts was about 14.5 cases per 1,000 hospital births, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The First Lady’s Be Best initiative has taken her to hospitals throughout the country and she has been dedicated to promoting community resources meant to help families affected by the opioid epidemic. She has visited hospitals and recovery centers such as Lily’s Place in West Virginia, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio.
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