Dr. Allen Cherer is an accomplished neonatal care specialist with decades of medical experience.

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Month: March 2022

What does Neonatal Care Entail?

Neonatal care is essential in helping many newborn babies thrive. When a child is born prematurely, has a low birth weight, or has health concerns after birth, they will be cared for in the neonatal care unit. This special care provides personalized treatments based on the individual needs of each newborn. There are different levels of neonatal care. The level of care provided depends on the baby’s needs and many infants may go through several different levels as their condition changes. 

 

Parents may feel anxious or fearful when hearing that their child will be taken to the neonatal care unit. This is understandable, but the medical care teams are experienced in helping parents understand procedures and providing information each step of the way. When a baby first arrives in the neonatal care unit, it will be assessed thoroughly so the medical team can come up with the best medical care strategy. The unit may be filled with many machines and devices that can look scary to a new parent. That’s why the staff takes great care in comforting parents and ensuring that they stay informed about their child’s health. 

 

Neonatal care may involve regular testing and scanning to keep track of blood sugar, platelets, and white blood cells. The neonatal care unit is also capable of performing x-rays, MRIs, and other essential scanning procedures. These tests allow the medical care team to better understand the needs of the baby so they can tailor treatments based on those needs.

 

The medical staff working in the neonatal care unit understand that parents may be quite scared about their child needing extra care after birth. They do everything possible to allow parents to hold and interact with their children. Parents are encouraged to ask questions, which can help them better understand the need for various procedures. In many cases, a parent can be present to comfort their child through holding or touch. 

 

The neonatal care unit provides specialized care for newborns that need additional attention after birth. Parents may be present during many procedures and are encouraged to actively participate in comforting their new baby when possible. While it may seem like a scary place at first, the neonatal care unit is designed to help babies heal and thrive.

What is Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome?

Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is a condition that occurs in newborns who were exposed to addictive substances in utero. When a pregnant mother uses drugs or alcohol, the baby can be born with NAS. This condition can cause various health problems for the infant, including seizures, feeding problems, and respiratory distress. In this article, we will discuss NAS’s causes, symptoms, and impact.

 

 Causes of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

 

Several substances can cause NAS in a newborn, including opioids, and marijuana. When an expectant mother uses any of these drugs, the baby is at risk for developing NAS. The use of prescription painkillers is a major contributor to the development of NAS. 

 

Symptoms of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

 

The symptoms of NAS vary depending on the mother’s drug during pregnancy. However, common symptoms include seizures, feeding problems, respiratory distress, and irritability. These symptoms can vary from mild to severe, and they usually develop within the first few days after birth. In some cases, NAS can lead to death.

 

Impact of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome on the baby

 

The impact of NAS on the baby can be devastating. The symptoms can cause physical and developmental problems, and they can also lead to long-term health issues. Some of the complications that babies with NAS may experience include:

 

  • Respiratory problems
  • Feeding difficulties
  • Seizures
  • Developmental delays
  • Behavioral problems
  • Low birthweight
  • Jaundice.

 

How Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome is treated

There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for NAS. Treatment depends on the severity of the baby’s symptoms and the mother’s drug. Some common treatments include:

 

  • Medication: Medications are often used to help relieve NAS symptoms. The most common medication used to treat NAS is methadone, which is an opioid agonist.
  • Nutritional support: Babies with NAS often have trouble feeding, so they may need to be fed through a tube.

 

Prevention of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

 

The best way to prevent NAS is to avoid using drugs and alcohol while pregnant. If you are pregnant and you need help to stop using drugs or alcohol, there are several resources available to you, including counseling and addiction treatment programs. It is also important to get regular prenatal care so that your doctor can monitor your baby’s development. If you think you may have an issue with drugs or alcohol, talk to your doctor about it. Getting help early on can make a big difference in the health of you and your baby.

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