What evidence-based strategies help infants with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) achieve self-regulation?
Infants with NAS have difficulty self-regulating, impacting development, caregiver response, and feeding. Helping caregivers understand infant cues and respond appropriately facilitates self-regulation. Sensory-based strategies like swaddling, pressure, positioning, and calming environments help regulate states. Promoting a quiet alert state is important but also transitioning back to quiet sleep.
Mothers with opioid use disorders tend to overly stimulate infants - teaching calming techniques and observing cues are key. If stimulation causes stress, transitioning to calming facilitates regulation. Overall, developmental neuroprotective care is essential including promoting calming environments, safe sleep, tactile input, feeding success, and positive feeding relationships.
This Ask the Expert is an edited excerpt from the course, Developmental Care And Feeding Of Infants With Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, by Tina Davis.