All collaborators for the Plan of Safe Care (refer to Best Practice # 29) should focus on interventions that take into consideration the safety and needs of both mother and newborn. While there has been extensive attention to a Plan of Safe Care for the newborn, a plan for the mother is equally important. The Plan of Safe Care should instill confidence in the mother in her ability to care for herself and her newborn; build trust and relationships with providers and other health and wellness partners; facilitate connections to resources; and ensure access to care that is inclusive of the mental, emotional, and physical aspects of opioid use disorder (OUD) postpartum and newborn health, and motherhood.
The following Plan of Safe Care discharge recommendations are best practice guidelines known to support the safety, recovery, and wellness of the mother/baby dyad, yet they should not limit the provision of resources, support, and/or interventions that may be necessary to overcome unique situations and challenges of individual mothers and newborns.
Every episode of care is an important opportunity to implement a Plan of Safe Care regardless of the point of entry or disposition (e.g., delivered or undelivered). Some patients have not received prenatal care, been referred to and/or participated in available support services, and may initially present to an emergency department or an alternate point of entry for care. Pregnant women presenting to the emergency department prior to 20 weeks gestation are traditionally declined by L&D units for interdepartmental transfer and, therefore, only receive care in the emergency department. Finally, not all pregnant women who present to labor and delivery (L&D) units will progress to delivery.