Baby cuddlers help babies withdrawing from opioids

Baby cuddlers help babies withdrawing from opioids

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Nothing seemed to calm the baby. Nancy Stebler swaddled the infant girl tighter. She stood up and rocked her. Then she sat down and rocked her. She shushed and cooed. But the baby trembled, went rigid and squealed with discomfort. The infant was in the throes of heroin withdrawal and while Stebler’s cuddling soothed the girl, the baby still struggled.

“She had a very hard time going through withdrawal,” Stebler tells TODAY. “It was very sad to see. When you could calm her down it was such a relief for her.”

As a volunteer in the Cuddler Program, Beverly Thorton holds babies withdrawing from heroin to help soothe them, aiding in their recovery. Thorton often sings to babies to try to console…