Pregnancy and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Pregnancy and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Unfortunately Today there are a lot of teen girls and young adult women drinking or using drugs during their pregnancy and they don't realize the risks they're taking concerning their unborn child's health and life. Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) has to do with a group of problems that take place in newborns that have been exposed to either addictive illegal drugs or prescription drugs while they were in their mother's womb.

Some of the drugs that fall into this category are amphetamines, barbiturates, cocaine, diazepam, marijuana, and heroin, methadone, and codeine which are opiate drugs. Mothers need to understand that drugs like these pass through the placenta. This is the organ that connects the baby to the mother's womb and is of vital importance to the unborn child.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

When a mother takes drugs they pass through the placenta and go straight to her precious child. Not only is the mother addicted but the unborn child is too.

Sadly when the baby is born they're still dependent on the drug or drugs they have been exposed to during this time and because they're no longer getting the substance they experience withdrawal symptoms.


There are many factors that come into play when it comes to withdrawal symptoms and cravings once a precious addicted newborn has arrived into the world.

  1. What kind of drug or drugs was the mother using?
  2. How heavily did the mother use?
  3. How long had the mother been using?
  4. Was the baby born prematurely or full term?

It varies as far as when the symptoms of withdrawal begin to show, this can be anywhere from the first day up to 10 days later but when they do, they're uncomfortable and can be severe. Women who using drugs during pregnancy really need to understand how serious this is for their precious baby and it doesn't matter if they're illegal street drugs or prescription medications.

Symptoms of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)

  1. The baby's skin may be blotchy
  2. The baby can experience diarrhea
  3. Babies may cry excessively or experience very high pitched crying
  4. Babies may suck excessively
  5. Babies can run fevers
  6. Their reflexes may be hyperactive
  7. They may have increased muscle tone
  8. Babies may be irritable
  9. Babies may have trouble feeding
  10. Their breathing can be rapid
  11. Babies may experience seizures
  12. Babies can have problems sleeping
  13. Problems gaining weight
  14. Sneezing and stuffy noses
  15. Babies may experience sweating
  16. Trembling is another sign babies can experience
  17. Vomiting is another risk babies can experience

It just depends on the drug or drugs a mother was using during her pregnancy and the severity of use when it comes to the intensity associated with withdrawal for the newborn child. It's so important to the safety of your unborn child to get help if you have a problem with drugs or alcohol during pregnancy.

left quoteNow is not the time to think about yourself and your needs, it time to think about your unborn child's safety and their needs.right quote

I realize it's not easy admitting you have a problem but the risks associated with substance use are far too serious and it's not only YOU that's suffering from the symptoms of substance abuse or addiction, your precious unborn child is too. Once that beautiful baby is born, their symptoms don't stop they get worse because they're no longer receiving the substance they're now dependent on.

It's time to do the right thing now, if you're using substances during your pregnancy let your physician know and they can help you before things get worse. No one says this is easy but you have more than yourself to think about right now. Your unborn child is depending on you right now so get help if you do have a problem with drugs or alcohol. You owe it to your baby to have the best life possible and substance abuse should never be part of their life.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Post Discussion

  1. Addict

    These young girls being pregnant and on drugs when is it going to stop? I watched Dr. Phil today and seeing these babies shacking and birth defects is very sad.

  2. Addict

    I think the baby with severe birth defects due to the mothers drug use looks more like a baby born with a neural tube defect due to lack of prenatal Folic acid consumption but what do I know

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