infant of chemically dependent mother

infant of chemically dependent mother

a newborn who shows withdrawal symptoms, usually within the first 24 hours of life, most commonly caused by maternal antepartum dependence on heroin, methadone, diazepam, phenobarbital, or alcohol. See also fetal alcohol syndrome.
observations Characteristic symptoms include tremors, irritability, hyperactive reflexes, increased muscle tone, twitching, increased mucus production, nasal congestion, respiratory distress, excessive sweating, elevated temperature, vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. The infants cry shrilly, often sneeze, frantically suck their fists but feed poorly, and frequently yawn but have difficulty falling asleep. They are usually pale, are often born with or develop nose and knee abrasions from fussiness and irritability, and are subject to convulsions.
interventions The infant is kept warm, snugly swaddled in a padded crib, and exposed to minimal visual, auditory, and tactile stimulation. The baby is handled only when necessary and is then held firmly, close to the body.
nursing considerations These high-risk infants require special attention, and the mother should be encouraged to participate in her baby's care as soon as possible. The nurse may help promote parent-child bonding.
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