New Parent Education

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) Education for Parents

With the rising cost and frequency of NAS there is an immediate need for education and awareness efforts for new parents, clinicians, and the community. Babies with NAS are more likely to have low birth weight, breathing or feeding problems, birth defects, and seizures. While prevention, prenatal care, and early education are important, hospitals, and specifically the NICU, must be prepared to care for these babies as well as provide education for mothers and caregivers.

In addition to the standard education a new mother receives, she must also understand the additional needs of a baby with NAS. Clinicians, social workers, and discharge coordinators spend a significant amount of time teaching and repeating information on how to safely and appropriately care for the child.

To support the educational needs of hospitals and communities around the United States, MetaMD partnered with WakeMed Health to develop a Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome educational module that is now part of MetaMD’s extensive NICU Knowledge program. Designed specifically for those caring for a NAS baby, topics include the signs and symptoms of NAS, how it is monitored and treated, expected outcomes, and how to best care for their baby while in the hospital and once home.  Specifically:

  1. What is Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome?
  2. Withdrawal and Symptoms
  3. Medications Used to Treat Baby
  4. Length of Hospital Stay
  5. Breastfeeding Your Baby
  6. Understanding Your Baby’s Needs
  7. How You Can Help
  8. Continued Medical Care (customized with your facilities follow-up process)
  9. What if You Become Overwhelmed?
  10. “How To” Swaddling video

Alarming Statistics about NAS

NAS prevalance is growing.

  • Roughly every 25 minutes another baby is born with symptoms of withdrawal and requires special care in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
  • In 2012 the average length of stay for a baby with NAS was 16.9 days, costing hospitals an estimated $1.5 billion.
  • From 2004 through 2013, the rate of NICU admissions for the neonatal abstinence syndrome increased from 7 cases per 1000 admissions to 27 cases per 1000 admissions.
  • Roughly 80% of the cost is charges to a state’s Medicaid program.

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