Jefferson University Hospitals

Maternal Addiction Treatment Education & Research (MATER)

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Mother and child holding hands

MATER is a program in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals, and includes the Sidney Kimmel Medical College departments of OB/GYN, Pediatrics and Psychiatry.

When you’re part of our programs, you will have access to internationally and internationally recognized treatments. It will start when you meet with a MATER representative from the MATER Family Center (outpatient) or My Sister’s Place (a short- and long-term residential program.) 

Comprehensive Care Services

Comprehensive care means treating a whole person, not just their problems. We provide multiple services to support you and your recovery. Our team will help you receive:

Care Coordination & Case Management

  • Insurance coverage
  • Government identification
  • Welfare benefits, including WIC, SNAP, transportation

Medical Care

  • Prenatal care from Jefferson
  • Delivery care from Jefferson/Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital pediatrics and neonatology
  • Coordination of specialist and general medical care for you and your child(ren)

Mental Health Care

  • Mental health check-ups with our staff psychiatrist
  • Continued therapy, including any needed prescriptions from our staff psychiatrist

Individual Therapy & Peer Support

  • Strength-based treatment planning to meet your recovery needs
  • One-on-one sessions with an experienced therapist
  • Certified Peer Specialist offers one-on-one and group support

Group Therapy

  • Mindfulness-based parenting
  • Yoga
  • Smoking cessation
  • Anger management
  • Life skills, like cooking and money management
  • 12-step meetings and support groups
  • And more!

Child Care

  • Safe environment for your children ages 3 months to 6 years while you attend therapy appointments
  • Parenting education
  • Child development assessment and referrals to services
  • Support navigating DHS or Family Court involvement 

Medications for Opioid Use Disorder

  • Methadone and buprenorphine (Subutex or Suboxone) can reduce cravings and prevent withdrawal
  • Our team of experienced professionals will help find the right medication and dose for you

FAQs About Methadone or Buprenorphine

Are methadone and buprenorphine safe to use during my pregnancy?

Yes. These medications can help you have fewer problems with your pregnancy, like giving birth too early, and can help you have a healthier baby.

How will these medications affect my baby?

These medications provide a stable level of opioids in you and your growing baby’s body. This helps to reduce the stress on both of your bodies from cycles of withdrawal and use. After birth, your baby will be closely monitored for a few days in the hospital. If your baby has withdrawal symptoms, our doctors are experts in treating this and the symptoms do not last for long.

How long does someone take these medications?

Everyone’s journey is different. Some people need medication for longer than others due to their genes, social situations, and other unknown factors. We will work with you to help your recovery for as long as you need us.

Will medication assisted treatment affect my job or education?

It is against federal laws for employers to not hire someone or fire someone because they take methadone or buprenorphine. When used under the correct supervision, these medications do not impair intelligence, focus, and physical ability.

Why Choose MATER?

Mother and baby laughing

Research completed by MATER experts, published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, found significant improvement in the quality of parenting among mothers who participated in a trauma-informed, mindfulness-based parenting intervention while also in medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. At MATER, we're also researching how behavioral and pharmacological interventions reduce cigarette smoking, benzodiazepine use and opioid use disorder.

Am I Eligible? 

Family Center Outpatient and Intensive Outpatient Programs

  • 18 years or older
  • Pregnant or parenting
  • Needing treatment for any substance problems

My Sister's Place Residential Program

  • 18 years or older
  • Pregnant or parenting
  • Needing treatment for any substance problems
  • Children under 6 years old are welcome to live in the residence with their mother

Make an Appointment

Call the Family Center at 215-955-3792 for more information or to make an appointment.


Diane J. Abatemarco

Diane J. Abatemarco, PhD, MSW

Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Pediatrics
Director of Maternal Addiction Treatment, Education and Research (MATER)