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Acta Paediatr Scand. 1983 May;72(3):403-6.

Investigation of 89 children born by drug-dependent mothers. I. Neonatal course.


Among 89 infants born by opiate- and methadone-addicted mothers 20% were preterm and 31% were light for gestational age. Mean gestational age and birth weight were lower in infants of mothers who had taken mainly opiates compared with infants of mothers who had taken mainly methadone. Preterm labor was more frequent among women who had been acutely withdrawn on methadone within the last month before birth than among women who were maintained on methadone at birth. 85% of the newborns had withdrawal symptoms and 12% had convulsions the severity of which was not correlated with the type of drug abuse. The duration of withdrawal, however, correlated with the amount of methadone taken by the mother at birth. 20% had signs of perinatal asphyxia and had an increased frequency of neonatal convulsions. These babies represent a special high-risk group of newborns. Prevention, therapy and care demand extraordinary combined efforts by politicians, social welfare personnel, midwives, doctors and nurses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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