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Methadone and Baby Development
I have a five month old grandson whose mother was on methadone her entire pregancy and months before. The baby is not doing any of the things a 5 month old should do, such as sitting up or trying to, holding or trying to hold his bottle, he can't hold small toys very well, nor does he switch objects from hand to hand, he still bobbles his head and we have to hold his head while carrying him, he doesn't have neck or leg strength, he's not trying to crawl, he is still wearing 3 month size diapers. Is this because of the methadone, will he catch up in his skills and developement?
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495284 tn?1333897642
Does the pediatrician know about the methadone during her pregnancy?
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yes the MD knows
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Hi Mimi,

I'm sorry to hear about the difficulties your grandchild & family are experiencing. I was on my last Methadone clinic for twenty years. I saw plenty of women raise physically healthy children. Unfortunately, the difficulties seemed to arise when there were other drugs being used during the pregnancy like alcohol, cocaine & Meth. Also, according to the literature the most at risk mothers & babies were those who were under a great deal of stress, had very little money, etc. All these factors make it difficult to lay the blame squarely on Methadone. Personally, I haven't encountered what you describe in my time around responsibly maintained & monitored Methadone mothers. In fact, Methadone is the preferred maintenance opiate during pregnancy. That said, it's only used when the mother is already addicted to another opiate. The most common risks associated with it's use tend to be IQ related & behavioral though there is an increased risk of infant mortality, SIDS, high platelet counts (risk of Thrombosis) & jaundice.

Is it possible that his mother was exposed to something else that affected her baby's development -- either a toxin or other illicit drugs/alcohol or both?
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At 5 mis old, he wouldn't be doing most if those right now. Rolling over and holding up his head maybe and yes. But sitting, scooting, trying to crawl and holding his own cup is a little soon.

Babies born with addiction can be delayed though. Your state has a birth to 3 years Early Intervention program. A state program. You can contact them and reqyluest an evaluation be done on him. They should do it. Then you can take it from there. Or have Mom make the call.
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