How SNOO ‘Turned Things Around’ for a Mom and Her Substance-Exposed Son
When Amber Bjorklund gave birth to her son Corbin, she was homeless and living in her vehicle.
“I had zero support,” she says.
To make matters more challenging, Corbin was a substance-exposed baby and spent several weeks going through withdrawal. “Getting him calm, sleeping, and restful were more difficult than with a normal baby who may not go through those things,” Amber says.
Corbin’s withdrawal caused extreme discomfort that he expressed in loud, shrieking cries. He had reflux and gas and had to be put on four different formulas before they found one that worked. Amber describes his body as getting very rigid, with his head arching toward his bottom like a baby seal. “You could tell it was painful,” Amber remembers. "It pulls at your heartstrings to not be able to calm his tummy and make him feel better."
Due to her living situation, about a month into Corbin's life, the Department of Child Safety put him into foster care. “He was used to me consoling him and putting him back to sleep,” she says. “In the foster home, he didn’t have me, and it changed his whole little schedule, his trust, and everything.”
After a month in foster care, Corbin and Amber were reunited. By then, Amber had begun to get back on her feet with help from Maggie’s Place, an organization in Arizona that provides housing and ongoing support to pregnant women and new moms. And, one way Maggie’s Place was able to support Amber and her son was by providing the use of a SNOO.
Fortunately, SNOO had an instant soothing effect on Corbin. “SNOO helps put him asleep darn near immediately. As soon as he’s strapped in and he hears the white noise and gets the motion, he is out,” Amber says.
This marked a big departure from Amber’s experience with her first child, who was not substance-exposed, but still struggled with sleeping. “I’d rock him to sleep, and then worry if he was going to wake up when I put him down. There was a lot of back and forth of putting the baby down and then picking him back up, she remembers. “Comparing and contrasting, I can see that this baby is going to sleep so much quicker than my first child.”
SNOO allowed Amber to get some much-needed shut-eye as well. She says the white noise puts her to sleep. But more than that, she says that she’s comforted knowing that Corbin is sleeping safely. “I know that he’s safe in it so I can feel like it was okay for me to go to sleep.”
The peace of mind Amber got from SNOO made life easier when the sun was up too. “SNOO made it easier to go do other chores or things I needed to do and get done throughout the day,” she says. “Knowing he was safe, secure, and asleep, I could go make coffee or answer the door.”
As a result, SNOO has picked up a lot of fans at Maggie’s Place. “I showed it to everybody. Everybody reacted very positively,” Amber says. “They want a SNOO for all the different moms and houses because they see how quickly it calms the baby and how easy it is to use.”
Between getting her son back and having SNOO to help soothe him, life began to change for Amber. “I was literally depressed in my bed crying every day until I got the SNOO, got to hold my baby, and built that bond with him again. It really turned things around 180 degrees,” she says. “I’m feeling so much better. I’ve got a handle on things.”
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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider. Breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for babies. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, mothers eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast- and bottle-feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of a mother's breastmilk and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. If you do decide to use infant formula, you should follow instructions carefully.