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J Hum Lact. 2019 Feb;35(1):71-79. doi: 10.1177/0890334418769637. Epub 2018 May 3.

Breastfeeding Intention Compared With Breastfeeding Postpartum Among Women Receiving Medication-Assisted Treatment.

Author information

1
1 Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA.
2
2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND::

Women taking methadone or buprenorphine are encouraged to breastfeed if stable without polysubstance use.

RESEARCH AIM::

We aimed to determine the difference between stated intention to breastfeed prenatally in women taking methadone or buprenorphine compared with breastfeeding at discharge and 2 months postpartum. Secondary outcomes were determining whether breastfeeding was more common in women taking buprenorphine, in women without hepatitis C infection, and in women without a history of heroin use, and whether breastfeeding reduced the need for pharmacological treatment of neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome.

METHODS::

This was a retrospective cohort study of 228 women enrolled in a perinatal substance abuse treatment program. Electronic medical records were reviewed to abstract data on mother-infant dyads. Chi-square tests were used to analyze our outcomes.

RESULTS::

Women taking buprenorphine had a higher prevalence of breastfeeding compared with women taking methadone (83% [ n = 100] vs. 71% [ n = 76]; χ2 = 4.35, p = .03), despite no difference in their prenatal intention to breastfeed (87% vs. 81%; χ2 = 1.28, p = .25). Only 31% ( n = 38) of women taking buprenorphine and 19.6% ( n = 21) of women taking methadone exclusively breastfed at discharge (χ2 = 5.43, p = .06). Exclusively breastfed infants required less pharmacological treatment for neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome compared with formula-fed infants (15.8% [ n = 21] vs. 47.4% [ n = 38]; χ2 = 19.72, p < .05).

CONCLUSION::

Despite most women reporting a high prenatal intention to breastfeed, exclusive breastfeeding at hospital discharge postpartum was low. Breastfeeding was associated with a decreased likelihood of pharmacological treatment for neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome.

KEYWORDS:

breastfeeding; breastfeeding barriers; breastfeeding initiation; breastfeeding rates; mother-infant dyad; postpartum care

PMID:
29723483
DOI:
10.1177/0890334418769637

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