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Mom on Methadone

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  • Mom on Methadone

    Can you please advise me. I am working with a mother who wishes to breastfeed her now 1 month old baby. Mom only entered a substance abuse program following delivery. She is currently taking 110mgs Methadone daily. The baby never received any breast milk whist in the NICU and has been weaned from all medications to help with NAS prior to discharge. Mom now wants to give breast milk/breast feed. The concern is that we are introducing Methadone to this baby. In your opinion what would be best for the baby. Thanks

  • #2

    This is a difficult question to answer, but the best way to think about it is that sure, a small amount of methadone will be present in milk. Probably not enough to cause problems in the infant and not enough to prevent withdrawal symptoms in a newborn exposed in utero. That said, there is going to be very small levels.

    Overall, the judgement is that the amount in breastmilk is not sufficient to withdraw the mother from breastfeeding. Breastfeeding has SO many excellent benefits, compared to rather minimal to nil side effects of methadone.

    I'd advise the mom to continue to breastfeed as long as the infant's pediatrician was informed.

    Tom Hale Ph.d.


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