Mothers and Substance Abuse

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Frequently asked questions

What is the definition of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS)?

When babies are exposed to drugs in the womb before birth, they develop neonatal abstinence syndrome. After delivery, babies may experience drug withdrawal. Opiate addictions are the most common cause of this condition.

Who is vulnerable to neonatal abstinence syndrome?

Pregnant women who take drugs, smoke or drink alcohol during pregnancy put their unborn children at risk for neonatal abstinence syndrome and other complications. Drug users are also less likely to receive prenatal care, putting both the mother and the baby at risk.

What are the signs and symptoms of neonatal abstinence syndrome?

The diagnosis is based on the mother's medication or substance addictions history. It's critical to provide an accurate account of the mother's substance use. This includes the last time she took a drug. A scoring system may be used by the healthcare professional to assess and pinpoint the severity of the baby's withdrawal. Certain signs and symptoms, as well as the severity of each of them, are given points. This grading system may also aid in treatment planning.

What is the treatment for neonatal abstinence syndrome?

Your child's treatment will be determined by their symptoms, age, and overall health. It will also be determined by the severity of the mother's substance abuse problems.

Babies that are experiencing withdrawal symptoms are cranky. It's difficult for them to be consoled regularly. Wrapping the baby with a blanket may provide some relief. Because of their increased activity, babies may require additional calories in their feedings. If they are dehydrated or have severe vomiting or diarrhoea, they may need IV fluids.

Severe withdrawal symptoms, including convulsions, may require medication for babies. Medicines can also benefit from withdrawal discomfort and issues. If the treatment is necessary, babies are frequently given medicines from the same drug family as the drug they were exposed to before birth. Once the withdrawal symptoms are under control, the medication dosage is gradually reduced, supporting the baby's withdrawal from the drug. To find out which treatments might work for your baby, speak with a healthcare professional.


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