Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) is a result of the mother’s drug use during pregnancy, leading to both short and long-term effects on both the mother and child. Symptoms usually occur within the first 72 hours after birth.
The type of substance used by the mother may influence how long the withdrawal symptoms take to present themselves. During the recovery process, it may be helpful for the parents to take some measures to offer support to their child.
This blog will analyze some ways parents can help infants diagnosed with NAS.
How to Help Your Baby Recover
Swaddle your Baby
Babies find comfort in being wrapped tightly in a soft blanket. Comfort is essential during this difficult time.
Skin-to-skin contact has been proven to improve many illnesses and conditions in babies. A baby is stripped to a diaper and placed on their parent’s bare chest for some healing and bonding time.
Play Soothing Music or Sing
The same way a parent attempts to put a baby to sleep, they can use soft singing, relaxing music or humming to soothe their aby while they are going through withdrawal.
Avoid Patting or Stroking
NAS can negatively affect your baby’s nervous system. When soothing them throughout the withdrawal period, patting or stroking can negatively affect them.
Breastfeed on Demand
When your baby is hungry, it is best to feed them right away. This may happen very often as they may need extra calories when recuperating.
Create a Calm Environment
A parent should stay in the same room as the recovering child and ensure a comforting environment. This includes making sure it is quiet and not too bright.
Rocking and a Pacifier
Rocking your baby back and forth has been proven to help soothe them during withdrawal. Instead of having them suck on their fists, you can provide them with a pacifier for the same effect.
Give them Mittens
Like most people going through withdrawal, a baby may experience the need to scratch their face or body. Mittens will help keep their nails from hurting them.
If you or someone you know are ingesting opioids while pregnant, it is important to talk to your doctor about future steps.
Written by: Gabrielle Goldson
Check out our blog – Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Part 2: Complications