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Neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS) is a significant public health concern, affecting infants born to mothers who use opioids during pregnancy. Those exposed in-utero exhibit numerous signs of withdrawal after delivery including tremors, gastrointestinal distress, inconsolability, and poor feeding. Typical treatment for infants suffering from NOWS included direct admission to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for close observation and pharmacological interventions. However, NICU stays can interfere with bonding and breastfeeding. They can also lead to increased lengths of stay, higher costs, and more invasive pharmacological treatments. These infants typically do not have any other concerning health issues besides NOWS and therefore should not be immediately transferred to the NICU. Rather, they should be able to room-in with their parents. Rooming-in is associated with improved neonatal outcomes, shorter length of stay, and a decrease in cost. The literature review identified limited data regarding the effectiveness of non-separation techniques when implemented in small hospitals with fewer resources. A research proposal will be discussed as well that focuses on implementing rooming-in techniques in rural hospitals located in Northern California. Infants with NOWS born at these hospitals between August 2023-December 2024 will be admitted directly to the NICU. Infants born between January 2025-May 2026 will room-in with their parents. The will be a quantitative study that utilizes a retrospective cohort design. Descriptive statistics will be used to determine if implementing non-separation techniques improves outcomes for infants suffering from neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome.



Publication Date



The Scholarly and Creative Works Conference, Dominican University of California


San Rafael, CA


opioids, NOWS, non-separation, rooming-in, neonatal intensive care unit, neonatal outcomes


Family Medicine | Maternal, Child Health and Neonatal Nursing | Nursing | Pediatrics | Substance Abuse and Addiction

Benefits of Rooming-in on Infants with Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome