Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)

Seeking help for using drugs or alcohol during pregnancy can be difficult and it can be even more difficult to ask questions about how drinking and drug use during pregnancy may affect children.  Many women delay prenatal care and treatment for substance use disorders because they fear being viewed as a “bad” mother and that seeking treatment will result in their children being removed from their care.  Many women don’t know that there are places they can go to get help for themselves and their families where they aren’t alone…places that can help them achieve recovery from substance use disorders and help them learn what they need to know about parenting a substance-exposed child.

By watching the videos below, you will learn how mothers dependent on opiates are able to maintain recovery with the help of comprehensive services including Medication Assisted Therapy and how they are able overcome Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) together as a family.

You will learn in Journeys of Hope: Mommies and Babies Overcoming NAS how Matilda, Vanessa, and Dawn, three mothers dependent on opiates during their pregnancy, were able to reach recovery while helping their children recover from NAS.  You will also hear from experts about how providing care without judgment results in better outcomes for both mom and baby.

In Stronger Together: NAS Soothing Techniques for Mommies and Babies, you will learn from both experts and birth mother Matilda techniques that help to soothe withdrawal symptoms and the important role that birth mothers play in their child’s recovery.

It is important to know that trying to stop using heroin or prescription painkillers during pregnancy is extremely dangerous to both mother and baby.

Experiencing withdrawal symptoms during pregnancy is a medical emergency.  Seek emergency medical care if you or someone you are with is pregnant and experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

Recommended treatment for women that are pregnant and dependent on heroin or prescription painkillers includes a daily dose of medication (methadone or buprenorphine) that will prevent withdrawal symptoms or cravings.  In addition, counseling for substance use disorders, prenatal care, and support services are recommended.

If You Need Help

To find substance abuse treatment services in your area, please call, toll free, 1-877-9-NO DRUG (1-877-966-3784) for immediate and confidential help, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or contact the Outreach, Screening, Assessment and Referral Center (OSAR) in your region. OSARs are the first point of contact for those seeking treatment for substance use disorders.


Journeys of Hope: Mommies and Babies Overcoming NAS

Stronger Together: NAS Soothing Techniques for Mommies and Babies

The Mommies Toolkit

Introduction to the Mommies Toolkit: Improving Outcomes for Families Impacted by Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Improving Outcomes for Families Impacted by Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (PDF)

The Mommies Program Training  2017 (PPT)

The Mommies Program Workshop 2015 (PPT)

Technical Assistance Request Form (PDF)

For More Information

For more information please contact:

Women’s Substance Abuse Services Coordinator 
Behavioral Health Services 
Program Services Section/Substance Use Disorder Services
P.O. Box 149347, MC2109
Austin, TX 78714-9347
(512) 838-4379 

Karen Palombo
(512) 838-4381

Last updated October 18, 2018