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Can I Take Methadone While Breastfeeding?

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The field of addiction treatment considers methadone to be the treatment of choice for pregnant and breastfeeding women in medication-assisted treatment (MAT). Methadone can improve the health of both mother and child when taken as directed. Discover how you can participate in a safe MAT program while breastfeeding your baby.

Methadone’s Safety for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women

Participating in a methadone-based MAT program has a higher level of safety for mothers than opioid misuse or discontinuation. When you breastfeed while taking methadone, a very small amount passes onto the baby. With a doctor’s supervision, methadone can also serve as a safe treatment for pregnant women with opioid use disorder. If you become pregnant during methadone maintenance, you can keep taking a similar amount in many cases. Your clinic provider will help you manage your treatment while keeping yourself and your baby healthy.

Benefits of Opioid Use Disorder Treatment for New Mothers

A methadone-based MAT program offers many benefits for new mothers and their children, including:

  • Lowering the risk of infection or other complications from using needles. Your clinic will administer methadone in a clean environment and use non-injection methods.
  • Creating a safe environment where the baby can have healthier development. Pursuing treatment helps you foster a stable childhood for your baby since you have extra help from your treatment team.
  • Improving the mother’s well-being by reducing withdrawal symptoms and lowering the impact of opioids on her life. Methadone reduces cravings and withdrawal symptoms to assist you with staying on the path to recovery.
  • Providing personalized support that takes the unique needs of new mothers and their children into account. Many MAT clinics have services and programs for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
  • Creating connections with other healthcare providers and community resources for necessities such as housing and employment. Your MAT clinic can refer you to outside resources to help you start your new life.

Getting help from a methadone treatment center gives you the support needed to promote your and your baby’s well-being. With help from your care team, you can begin a new life with your child.

Using Methadone During Pregnancy and After Birth

If you become pregnant during methadone treatment or plan to become pregnant, you can follow your treatment plan with a few modifications. Your doctor may recommend spreading out your treatment times during your third trimester. Since methadone loses some effectiveness during this part of your pregnancy, you may need to modify treatment at that time. A baby may experience treatable withdrawal symptoms from methadone after birth. Once you give birth, your provider will monitor your child. Getting treatment has fewer risks than continuing to use opioids.

Remember to follow your doctor’s directions for taking methadone while pregnant or breastfeeding. If you want to make a change to your treatment, talk to them first to find a safe solution.

Support for Recovering Mothers at MedMark Treatment Centers

MedMark Treatment Centers provides methadone-based MAT at clinics throughout the United States. Select locations offer programs for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, and we offer referrals at all of our centers. Let us help you by scheduling an appointment through our contact form or by calling 866-840-6658.

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