How long does the baby stay in the hospital if they are suspected to be withdrawing ?
Depending on the babies symptoms of withdrawal they could end up staying in the hospital for several weeks. Depending on whether or not they are feeding well off bottle , or breast (if mother is off drugs) and gaining the proper amount of weight. When the suspect that the baby is going through withdrawal of a hard drug they try to wean them off the drug by giving them doses of morphine. One of the side effects of morphine on babies is slower breathing and heart rate, this is something that can keep the baby in the hospital for a longer period of time, because they have to monitor the baby after they are done being given the doses of morphine.
Do the babies go home with their mother/parents?
Most of the time the baby does go home with the mother, whether this is a positive thing or not for the baby. ALL special care nursery babies (drug addicted or not) get a social service referral and a hospital social worker follows them for the hospital stay. The social worker will make any referrals to child protective services if they are thought to be needed.Sometimes when the mother gave birth they are in jail, if this is the case the mother is put back into jail and the baby is given to the father or another family member. if worse comes to worse and the child has no safe family member to go to, foster care steps in.