Abstract 05
Alexis J Detweiler, SN; Caitlin R Ward, SN
West Chester University, College of Health Sciences
[email protected]
Title: Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome and Breastfeeding
Objectives (of project and/or presentation):
The purpose of this project is to review and synthesize literature that addresses the effect breastfeeding babies
with neonatal abstinence syndrome has on the length of hospital stay.
Introduction OR Rationale:
Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), or drug withdrawal in an infant that requires pharmacologic treatment, is an
increasing problem in the United States. Both pharmacological and non-pharmacological methods are used to
treat NAS. The purpose of this project is to review and synthesize literature that addresses the effect breastfeeding
NAS babies has on the length of hospital stay.
Three nursing journal articles and one medical journal article published between 2009 and 2015 were obtained
from the CINHAL database and were used to review and synthesize literature. The search terms and phrases that
were used are as follows: neonatal abstinence syndrome, breastfeeding, neonatal abstinence syndrome
treatment, and length of stay.
Results OR Practice Implications:
The findings of the research studies exhibited two main themes: 1) breastfeeding reduces the length of stay in NAS
babies and 2) breastfeeding improves the wellbeing of babies suffering from withdrawal.
Breastfeeding NAS babies reduces the need for pharmacologic treatment, thus the length of hospital stay is also
decreased. Although these research studies suggest that breastfeeding improves the overall well-being of NAS
babies, further research is required.
1. Gower, S., Bartu, A., Ilett, K., McLaurin, R., & Hamilton, D. (2014). The wellbeing of infants
exposed to buprenorphine via breast milk at 4 weeks of age. Journal of Human Lactation,
30(2), 217-223.
2. O'Connor, A., Collett, A., Alto, W., & O'Brien, L. (2013). Breastfeeding Rates and the
Relationship Between Breastfeeding and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome in Women Maintained on Buprenorphine
During Pregnancy. Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health, 58(4), 383-388.
3. Pritham, U., Paul, J., & Hayes, M. (2012). Opioid Dependency in Pregnancy and Length of Stay
for Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal
Nursing, 41(2), 180-190.
4. Welle-Strand, G., Skurtveit, S., Jansson, L., Bakstad, B., Bjarkø, L., & Ravndal, E. (2013).
Breastfeeding reduces the need for withdrawal treatment in opioid-exposed infants. Acta
Paediatrica, 1060-1066.
Funding Source: None

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome and Breastfeeding