Lauren Jansson, MD and Eric Gibson, MD
Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is non-homogeneous syndrome with significant long-term consequence for both the child and mother. Dr. Jannsson discusses a novel approach of understanding variable NAS expression and optimizing maternal-infant interaction.
Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is an array of signs and neurobehaviors experienced by the newborn exposed to opiates in utero, but the expression of this syndrome is widely variable among affected infants. Long-term, NAS presents with significant consequences for both the development of the infant and the well being of his mother. Symptoms of NAS-related dysregulation in the neonate can persist across the lifespan and understanding these complex effects is vital to short- and long-term treatment and to follow-up care. The scope of care provided by Dr. Jannsson at the Center for Addiction and Pregnancy at The Johns Hopkins University focuses on paradigms that reinforce the dyad relationship in the context of the infant with NAS, with the goal of optimizing maternal functioning and capacity for interaction with the infant. This process of care is started well before birth and is focused on long-term outcomes and has so far shown significant promise.