Supporting Infants at Risk for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome: A 2-Generation Care Model

As a consequence of the opioid crisis, the incidence of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) has continued to rise. Recent research has highlighted the importance of supportive, non-pharmacological care, ideally provided through rooming-in of the family, as the first line of treatment for all infants with in utero opioid exposure and NAS. This presentation will offer insight from one hospital’s experience in caring for mother and baby together, using a trauma-informed approach and evidence-based strategies, and the child life role in this collaborative care model. The goals and outcomes of this quality improvement initiative will be shared, including data on reducing length of stay and need for medication and improving patient experience.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define relevant terms and consider causes and social factors associated with in utero opioid exposure
  • Identify the range of symptoms associated with neonatal withdrawal and non-pharmacological care strategies as first line of treatment
  • Describe the approach of one hospital program in caring for baby and mother together and the child life role in this collaborative care model
  • Acquire knowledge about trauma-informed care and the importance of its application with this patient population.

Domain: Intervention

Erin Munn


For the past year, Erin has worked full-time in the child life component of a quality improvement initiative with infants at risk for NAS and their families. The team's goal has been to formalize an interdisciplinary program for providing carefully coordinated, evidence-based care to this growing patient population and their families, from outpatient prenatal and medication treatment for the mothers, to delivery and inpatient admission of the infants for monitoring and NAS treatment when indicated, to follow-up outpatient post-partum care for up to 1 year. Erin earned her Master of Science degree in human development and family studies in 1995 and have been a Certified Child Life Specialist for over 20 years.


08/28/2019 at 2:30 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes
08/28/2019 at 2:30 PM (EDT)   |  60 minutes
5 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  4/5 points to pass
5 Questions  |  Unlimited attempts  |  4/5 points to pass
1.50 PDU credits  |  Certificate available
1.50 PDU credits  |  Certificate available