First lady Melania Trump will visit Boston Medical Center on Wednesday to highlight a treatment program for infants born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, the White House said.

In a statement, the White House said Trump’s visit is part of her Be Best initiative.

“Mrs. Trump will visit Boston Medical Center to learn about their Cuddling Assists in Lowering Maternal and Infant Stress (CALM) Program developed to treat babies born with NAS,” the statement said.

The White House said that in addition to CALM, “Boston Medical Center developed several other programs aimed to assist pregnant women with Substance Use Disorder (SUD) and newborn babies suffering from the impact of SUD.”


According to the White House, “Mrs. Trump will receive a briefing from the Boston Medical Center Staff on the status of these programs. Following the briefing, Mrs. Trump will tour Boston Medical Center’s Pediatric Unit to see first-hand how these programs are implemented and meet with the children and families who have been successfully treated.”

Last year, Boston Medical Center announced that a “quality improvement (QI) initiative” at the hospital focusing on “using non-pharmacologic approaches to care for infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) yielded positive short-term outcomes for both the mothers and infants. The results, published in the Journal of Perinatology, showed a decrease in medication use, length of stay, and health care costs.”

According to BMC, the hospital in 2016 “implemented these new approaches in the hospital. Non-pharmacologic treatment approaches included parental presence at the infant’s bedside, skin to skin contact, and breastfeeding as first-line treatment. Parents were educated about the importance of their presence and contact with their infants, and infants were cared for in a pediatrics inpatient room with a bed for parents once mothers were discharged for their immediate postpartum care.”

The initiative was successful, BMC said last year in its statement.


“The need to treat infants with medication decreased from 87 to 40 percent; the average length of hospital stay decreased from an average of 17 days to 11 days; and average hospital charges per infant decreased to approximately $21,000, down from $32,000,” the 2018 release said.

Dr. Elisha Wachman, lead author of the BMC study, was also quoted in last year’s statement lauding the initiative.

“Our efforts, which yielded positive results for our patients and our health system, suggests a need to re-evaluate the standard NAS assessment and care both here at BMC and nationally,” Wachman said. “Our ability to make significant, impactful changes in our care practices across several departments in a relatively quick amount of time indicates that these practices can be successfully replicated at other hospitals to improve outcomes for both the mother and the baby, as well as reduce healthcare costs.”

The White House website, meanwhile, has information on the first lady’s Be Best initiative.

“The mission of BE BEST is to focus on some of the major issues facing children today, with the goal of encouraging children to BE BEST in their individual paths, while also teaching them the importance of social, emotional, and physical health. BE BEST will concentrate on three main pillars: well-being, online safety, and opioid abuse,” the site says.

According to the White House, Be Best champions “the many successful well-being programs that provide children with the tools and skills required for emotional, social, and physical health. The campaign will also promote established organizations, programs, and people who are helping children overcome some of the issues they face growing up in the modern world.”


Travis Andersen can be reached at tandersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.