Nearly 100 new-born babies are treated for drug-withdrawal symptoms in Irish hospitals every year.
The babies are born with drug dependencies due to their mothers' use of addictive drugs during pregnancy.
New Freedom of Information figures, released to Newstalk by the HSE, reveal that 937 babies were treated for drug withdrawal symptoms in the 10 years between 2011 and 2020.
There was a total of 85 in 2020.
Consultant obstetrician gynaecologist Dr Mary McCaffrey explains the problems these babies develop.
“If the baby has been getting drugs across the placenta for the whole of the pregnancy and then suddenly, when the pregnancy is over, the umbilical cord is cut, in time the baby will get the same withdrawal symptoms,” she said.
“They often get quite jittery, fidgety, often their feeding won’t be that good and I suppose in very extreme cases, they could have seizures.”
Dr McCaffrey said the most common drugs babies are treated for are methadone, cocaine and heroin.
She said babies get varying treatment for the condition.
“Nothing for a very mild case – just monitor the baby,” she said.
“For more severe cases, they can use medications. They might use very, very mild sedatives.”
The HSE said affected infants are followed up by the baby clinic after being discharged.
Meanwhile, the mother is followed up by the social worker, public health nursing and Tusla, as required.