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What is Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome (NOWS)?

During pregnancy, medications the mother takes can cross the placenta and enter the baby’s bloodstream. When the baby is born, he or she is no longer exposed to the medication, but may still be dependent on the drug. This can lead to a group of problems known as Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome (NOWS). It is important that parents and staff work together as a team to ensure the baby is as comfortable as possible. Mothers who meet this criterion are encouraged to contact Social Services prior to delivery at (256) 265-7633.

Signs of withdrawal

  • High-pitched or excessive cry
  • Tremors/jitteriness
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Stuffy nose or sneezing
  • Feeding difficulties
  • Increased tone
  • Fever
  • Fast breathing
  • Vomiting/diarrhea
  • Skin irritation
  • Sweating
  • Seizures

Eat Sleep, Console Program

Huntsville Hospital for Women & Children offers parenting classes for patients with medication-assisted treatment plans, the first such program in Alabama. Patients in at least their 32nd week of pregnancy can register for this program, Eat Sleep, Console, by calling (256) 265-7296. Times and dates are flexible.