Babies inside the womb, as they exit and once out into the world —especially if breastfed—are influenced to varying degrees by their mother’s exposures, albeit illicit or prescription drug intake, food ingestion or smoking, to name a few.
If a pregnant mother is chronically using opioids, for example, then birth with subsequent severing of the umbilical cord enacts an abrupt cessation of the substance to the baby. The result is a newborn in withdrawal. This is called neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). It can be mild or happen upon a wide array leading to severe.