The Care and Management of a Newborn with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
Combs, Alexis M., 1998--
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Over the past decade, there has been a significant increase in street drug and opioid use across the world. Throughout the United States, at least one newborn is affected by Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) every fifteen minutes (Schierholz et al., 2021). NAS occurs when the newborn experiences withdrawal symptoms due to the mother’s drug use while pregnant. The purpose of this study is to investigate and analyze which care and management factors/lifestyle choices create the greatest outcomes for newborns born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. A literature review was conducted with research articles and journals within the time frame of 2009-2021 from Northern Illinois University’s database titled, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health (CINAHL). The key words searched were, “Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome,” and “Management/Care.” Both primary and secondary sources were used. The focus of this study will be comparing skin-to-skin contact/ “baby wearing”, breastfeeding, and pharmacologic interventions for the treatment of NAS. Throughout the research, it has been found that the greatest outcome of a newborn with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome is achieved when the newborn is breastfed. The research concluded infants who are breastfed are less likely to need pharmacologic treatment and have shorter hospital stays. Although, if necessary, infants may need pharmacologic treatment, it is not the first line of defense in NAS. Skin-to-skin contact and “baby wearing” are also important, but when compared to other factors it is insignificant. Nurses are an integral part in educating mothers and families and caring for newborns with NAS. Therefore, to adequately provide care for individuals affected by NAS they must understand how to care for and manage the symptoms of a newborn born with NAS.