SIDS, which stands for sudden infant death syndrome, is the leading cause of death among babies in the United States, aged 1 month to 1 year. Although SIDS deaths have decreased since 1990, they still remain a concern because the cause is not known. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, SIDS is the sudden death of an infant under 1 year old that cannot be explained after thorough investigation.
Though these deaths cannot be explained, there have been several factors that play into these deaths. They include bed sharing, maternal smoking and laying a baby on his stomach to sleep. Researchers have recently found that alcohol may be connected to SIDS.
Link Cannot Be Explained
Though the link between maternal drinking and infant deaths has been found, it can’t be specifically explained. It is known that alcohol has a negative effect of the development of major parts of the body, such as the brainstem. As for drinking after the baby is born, it may be the mother’s behavior that is more the problem as opposed to physical developments.
For example, a parent may roll over onto the baby in bed without realizing it, after consuming alcohol. Alcohol isn’t the only problem that we are seeing today. The most common problem in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is premature babies or babies with respiratory distress, but many new nurses are taken aback by the amount of babies with NAS. Opioids, such as oxycodone seem to be the worst culprit affecting these newborns.
Infants with this condition cry constantly and are easily agitated. Many cannot be near sound or light. Some other symptoms that these babies suffer from may consist of a distinct, high-pitched cry, tightening of the muscles as well as seizures. Addiction occurs when narcotics pass through the placenta to the baby during pregnancy. Withdrawal is most likely to take place once the baby is born and loses access to the drugs. In fact, as stated by the American Academy of Pediatrics, an estimated 55 to 94 percent of newborns that have been exposed to opioids before birth show signs of withdrawal.
Using Responsibility In Pre-Parenting
While most mothers-to-be are responsible when it comes to the child growing within their bellies, but some need a little help. The CDC is encouraging primary care physicians, gynecologists and obstetricians to screen all reproductive women for possible signs of substance abuse, including drugs and alcohol.
This would give doctors the upper hand in catching and treating a substance abuse before the women were to become pregnant. This could be done by using a nonjudgmental questionnaire to find out about a patients drug use history as well as cigarette and alcohol use. As for mothers who drink after the baby is born, obstetricians could talk to their patients about the potential dangers of using substances while caring for a baby. These small steps could and preventative measures could prove to make a great difference in the health of children and future generations.
For more information on this topic contact Narconon today.