What is Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome?

April 6, 2021

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) refers to symptoms of withdrawal that babies may have if their mothers used or abused substances during pregnancy. Signs of withdrawal most commonly are a result of opiate exposure such as Heroin, Codeine, Oxycodone (Oxycontin), Methadone or Buprenorphine. Symptoms of withdrawal may present as early as 24-48 hours after birth, or as late as 10 days of age.

NAS symptoms can include painful tremors; excessive crying and irritability; and problems with sleeping, feeding, and breathing. NAS is associated with myriad risk factors that could affect the well-being and development of a newborn. NAS is responsible for profound social cost and human suffering. From 2004 to 2014, NAS prevalence increased 433%, accounting for $2.9 billion in hospitalization costs (Boston Medical Center, 2018) straining national healthcare systems.

The Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated opioid use disorder and incidences of overdose increased by approximately 30% nationwide, making Hushabye Nursery’s best practice NAS care services even more essential.

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