Better health for birthing people with substance use disorders, their babies and families 

When Jenny became pregnant with her son, the SUPP program showed her a path to recovery. Today she advocates for other women.

Providence Swedish Ballard is home to the Substance-Using Pregnant People (SUPP) program, a transformative model of care. 

One of four similar programs in the state, Swedish SUPP serves nearly half of the state’s capacity and is unique in that it cares for patients at any gestational age, postpartum and those with high medical needs. Each year, Swedish serves approximately 350 mothers. In 2023, the majority of patients in the Swedish SUPP program came from King, Snohomish and Pierce counties, but the team served patients from 24 other counties.  More than three quarters of the unit's patients are low income with high medical needs and, in many cases, underinsured. 

The SUPP program’s multidisciplinary team delivers inpatient medical withdrawal management and stabilization, psychosocial treatment, obstetric evaluation and care, 24-hour nursing care, and parenting and childbirth education. 

The SUPP program leads to positive health outcomes for both the birthing parent and child, including:  

  • Decreased substance use, overdose and relapse rates   
  • Improved withdrawal management   
  • Tobacco cessation  
  • Improved breastfeeding  
  • Decreased entry rate into the foster care system   
  • Decreased emergency department utilization rates   
  • Decreased postpartum hospitalization readmissions  

When mothers deliver their babies while in the program, the COMPASSION model (Community Of Maternal Parenting Support for Substance Impacted People and Newborns) provides extended five days postpartum floor stay; this promotes trauma-responsive and non-judgmental, patient-centered care tailored to support the mother/birthing parent, newborn and family unit. This approach fosters “zero separation” and a whole person approach through respect, compassion, self-sufficiency and empowerment.  

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