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Off the Crooked Path

Moms recovering from substance abuse choose the straight road for their babies

Coming into the world was the easy part for Nevaeh Aldana.

Born July 7, 10 weeks premature, the baby girl with dark, wispy hair was immediately whisked away to the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, where she was evaluated and put on a respirator to support her underdeveloped lungs.

But in addition to observing Nevaeh for health issues related to prematurity, the nurses were watching to see if she would develop neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), withdrawal from the methadone her mother had been prescribed during pregnancy to manage her heroin addiction. Even though methadone may still cause NAS, it is considered safer during pregnancy than heroin use or abrupt withdrawal, which can lead to miscarriage.

Read More at Mission, the magazine of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

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