What Causes Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome?

May 27th, 2015 | Firm News

Few things are sadder to read about than babies who were born prematurely or had complications because the mother took hard drugs while she was pregnant. Often, such behaviors from expectant mothers result in a condition called neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).

What is Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome?

Essentially, NAS happens when a newborn became addicted to their mother’s drug of choice while in the womb. As such, they experience withdrawal symptoms upon birth. This can manifest in much the same way it does in an adult. The baby may be irritable, sweat excessively, have sleep problems and may vomit more than usual. In addition, their skin may be blotchy, they may suckle a lot and cry excessively. Treatment may range from extra attention and rocking to even tiny doses of the drug they’re addicted to, depending on the severity of the syndrome.

While many expectant mothers may know they should not take illegal drugs, NAS has been on the rise amongst “clean” mothers as well. The cause? Painkiller prescriptions. A recent study shows that more and more expectant mothers are being prescribed pain relievers and antidepressants, such as oxycodone and other narcotics. As such, these narcotics are getting into the bloodstream and therefore to the unborn child, causing NAS. The study shows that nearly 30 percent of women are prescribed a dangerous drug during pregnancy.

Mothers whose children experienced NAS are taking a stand all over the country, seeking to claim damages from their negligent doctors. It is important for any woman in Connecticut who may have been prescribed narcotics while pregnant to contact an expert New Haven malpractice attorney who can guide them through the process of claiming compensation.