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Supporting Women with Substance Use Issues: Trauma-Informed Care as a Foundation for Practice in the NICU

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Infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome and their mothers require extended support through health and social service systems. Practitioners are interested in exploring innovative approaches to caring for infants and mothers. There is now compelling evidence linking women's substance use to experiences of trauma and violence. A significant shift in the fields of addiction and mental health has been awareness of the impact of trauma and violence on infants and children, women, their families, and communities. In this article, the current state of knowledge of trauma-informed care is reviewed, in particular for application to practice within the NICU. Trauma survivors are at risk of being retraumatized because of health care providers' limited understanding of how to work effectively with them. Recognizing the impact of trauma and implementing evidence-based trauma-informed practices in the NICU holds promise for improving outcomes for women and their infants.
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Keywords: ABSTINENCE SYNDROME; ADDICTION; NEONATAL; NEONATAL INTENSIVE CARE UNIT; NEONATAL WITHDRAWAL; SUBSTANCE USE; TRAUMA-INFORMED CARE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2014

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