Neonatal abstinence syndrome, how to prevent it in pregnancy

The life of the child takes place during 9 months in the womb of its mother. A stage in which women have a great role in the development of baby since she through the umbilical cord feeds the baby and transmits everything she eats or ingests. An example is the taking of medicines or other substances that also reach the fetus, products that can cause problems in them.

It is the case of neonatal abstinence syndrome that makes children experience a dependence on certain products that, although they have never tried them. An effect of the ingestion of the mother during pregnancy of medicines susceptible to generate addiction that is transmitted to the children, who once born can present serious health or psychological problems.


Long-term influence

In Spain, according to data from the Spanish Association of Pediatrics, AEP, between the years 1992 and 2001, approximately 75 out of every 10,000 newborns the mother had been exposed to drugs of abuse during pregnancy. Of all these newborns, 8 out of 10 were diagnosed with withdrawal syndrome. How can this situation affect in the long term?

A study conducted in Australia brought together 2234 children diagnosed with withdrawal syndrome. These cases were compared with the general population. The results indicated that the risk of not reaching the minimum to pass the course was more than double in the children who had this problem than in the rest.


A difference became latent between the third and the seventh course. As the age of the children increased, the influence of the withdrawal syndrome on them became clearer. From the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital of Stanford indicate the following symptoms as the most common in children with this problem:

- Tremors

- Irritability

- Problems sleeping

- Rigid muscle tone

- Hyperactive reflexes

- Convulsions

- Yawning, nasal congestion and sneezing

- Vomiting

Prevention of withdrawal syndrome

The neonatal abstinence syndrome is very easy to to prevent. It is enough to leave aside the addictive substances during pregnancy. At the same time, you will have to talk to the gynecologist about the possible consequences of taking medications in this period. The best in these cases is to establish a diet and decide what is recommended and what is not recommended to ingest in pregnancy.


These are some of the medications that should be communicated to the gynecologist in the case that they are being taken during pregnancy:

- Codeine

- Hydrocodone

- Antidepressants

- Oxycodone

- Tramadol

- Benzodiazepines and other products to facilitate rest

Damián Montero

Video: Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome | Cincinnati Children's


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