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Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

The impact of drug addiction on a pregnant woman has profound effects, not only on her health and wellbeing but also that of her newborn baby. Maternal substance use during pregnancy is an important risk factor for negative pregnancy and neonatal outcomes. The infant at risk for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) is also at increased risk for pre-term birth, low birth weight and intrauterine growth restriction.

PCMCH was instrumental in identifying the rapidly growing incidence of opioid dependent pregnant women and their infants, who experience withdrawal after birth. PCMCH’s work resulted in education and support for providers by providing interventions in the form of NAS clinical guidelines and recommendations to support the provider community in addressing the psychosocial needs of opioid dependent women during the preconception, antenatal and postpartum/post discharge stages. Clinical guidelines also address the need to monitor the infant post birth and provide evidence informed approaches to pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical interventions to manage the symptoms of withdrawal.

The following resources and clinical guidelines support the clinician in the identification, care and management of infants with NAS. Please note that this guideline is for information purposes only.  These recommendations reflect the information available as of the date it was issued and therefore should be used in that context. Please use your own clinical judgment when applying any management strategies documented in this resource.

The NAS Guidelines have been updated. Some important changes to the 2016 Update include:

1. Updated recommendations to reflect current evidence and practice in the area of drug toxicology testing and NAS management

2. Updated references and an expanded list of resources

3. More streamlined and condensed recommendations

Work Group Membership – 2016 (PDF)