Infant Mental Health for the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Parental Substance Abuse

Parental Substance Abuse is a risk factor for infant mental health problems. Maternal substance abuse is associated with higher conflict in mother-infant feeding interactions. Studies support the perinatal period as being a good time for maternal substance abuse intervention. Maternal methamphetamine abuse and more recently, oxycodone abuse has gotten a lot of media exposure. It is important to remember that maternal tobacco and alcohol use also have negative effects on infant health.

References and Resources:

Are OxyContin Babies This Decade’s Crack Babies?

Das Eiden, R. (2001). Maternal substance use and mother-infant feeding interactions. Infant Mental Health Journal, 22: 497-511.

Mattson, B., Williams, S., Rosenblatt, J. & Morrell. (2002). Preferences for cocaine-or pup-associated chambers differentiates otherwise behaviorally identical postpartum rats. Psychopharmacology, 167: 1-8. 

'Meth babies' exhibit more behavior problems:

Neonatal Drug Withdrawal

Smith et al. (2005). Effects of prenatal methamphetamine exposure on fetal growth and drug withdrawal symptoms in infants born at term. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 24: 17-23.

Substance Use Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment for Pediatricians: