Working to reduce women’s use of harmful substances during pregnancy has been one of Vermont’s key public health initiatives in recent years. This includes reducing the number of women using tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, illicit opioids, and other harmful substances during pregnancy. A substance-free pregnancy is important for the health of a baby.

Vermont’s commitment to the recognition, diagnosis, and treatment of  opioid use disorder in pregnancy is correlated with a smaller proportion of newborns with a diagnosis of Drug Withdrawal Syndrome, shorter hospital stays, and lower charges [1]. Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) is the treatment recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists [2].

The rate of newborns with a drug withdrawal syndrome diagnosis in Vermont hit a peak incidence rate of 35.3 per 1,000 live births in 2014, but has since fallen to 29.5 [3].

Additional information about how Vermont addresses the health of children and families can be found in the State Health Improvement Plan and in the Division of Maternal and Child Health’s Strategic Plan.

Return to the Table of Contents for the 2019 How Are Vermont’s Young Children and Families? report.

1. Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office (2018). Births in Vermont Affected by the Opioid Epidemic.

2. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (Reaffirmed 2019). ACOG Committee Opinion: Opioid Use and Opioid Use Disorder in Pregnancy.

3. Vermont Uniform Hospital Discharge Data Set (VUHDDS) (2019). Data analysis was performed on the Vermont Uniform Hospital Discharge Data Set (VUHDDS) 2007-2017. Analyses were limited to discharges of live born Vermont residents at Vermont hospitals, excluding transfers from other facilities. Data were limited to Vermont hospitals. Newborns in this analysis were identified by any mention of either ICD-9 CM diagnosis code 779.5 or ICD-10-CM diagnosis code P96.1. Cases of iatrogenic NAS (ICD-9 CM 772.1x, 779.7, 777.5x, 777.6, 770.7 or ICD-10-CM P91.2x, P78.0x, P52x, P77x, P27x) were excluded from the NAS rate, but included in the non-NAS rate.