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Keywords

Breastfeeding, Buprenorphine/therapeutic use, Maternal exposure/adverse effects, Neonatal abstinence syndrome, Opioid-related disorders/drug therapy, Substance withdrawal, neonatal.

 

Authors

  1. Hilton, Tara C. MSN, RN, CRNP, IBCLC

Abstract

Abstract: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has a long-standing recommendation against breastfeeding if the maternal methadone dose is above 20 mg/day. In 2001, the AAP lifted the dose restriction of maternal methadone allowing methadone-maintained mothers to breastfeed. The allowance of breastfeeding among mothers taking methadone has been met with opposition due to the uncertainty that exists related to methadone exposure of the suckling infant. Methadone-maintained mothers are at higher risk for abuse, concomitant psychiatric disorders, limited access to healthcare, and financial hardship. Breastfeeding rates among methadone-maintained women tend to be low compared to the national average. This manuscript will discuss the implications for healthcare practitioners caring for methadone-maintained mothers and infants and associated risks and benefits of breastfeeding. This population of mothers and infants stands to obtain particular benefits from the various well-known advantages of breastfeeding.