Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)

Elizabeth Rodriguez


  • Neonatal abstinence syndrome (also called NAS) happens when a baby is exposed to drugs in the womb before birth.
  • NAS most often is caused when a woman takes opioids during pregnancy.


  • Seizures
  • Overactive reflexes
  • Tight muscle tone
  • Fussiness or excessive crying
  • Poor feeding
  • Slow weight gain
  • Fast breathing
  • Fever
  • Sweaty or blotchy skin
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Diarrhea or throwing up
  • Stuffy nose or sneezing


  • Can take medicines to treat or manage severe withdrawal symptoms
  • Getting fluids through a needle into a vein
  • Drinking higher calorie baby formula

Life Expectancy:

  • They have the same life expectancy as an average person, but they may have development and motor skills issues.


  • Infants with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome are very fussy and hard to calm down, but to help you can gently rock the baby, reduce noise and light, and swaddle the baby in a blanket.
  • Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome can last from 1 week to 6 months.
  • A complication of this birth defect is problems with development and behavior.