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subutex and baby
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subutex and baby

I am about 9 weeks pregnant and am a recovering addict.  i have been on suboxone for 3 years and now on subutex because of baby.  my dr. told me that after the birth the baby would have to be in neonatal icu for atleast 24 hours.  is this correct?  i've read about many pregnancies on subutex and all seem to have turned out just fine, how often does something go wrong and what are the risks to baby? i had tried to go off my suboxone last spring and did, but relapsed shortly after that for a couple months.  ideally i would not want to bring a baby into the world while on drug replacement but have been told it is more risky to the baby to go off the medication.
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It seems as if I just answered this question!  I am going to refer you to my blog, because I have references there that relate to Suboxone during pregnancy, breast feeding on buprenorphine, etc.  The bottom line is that Suboxone/Subutex does not have the track record that methadone has, but the general consensus is similar-- that it is safest to keep the mom on the maintenance agent, whether it is methadone or buprenorphine.

Withdrawal involves a number of 'adult' thoughts and feelings, including guilt and shame.... things the baby will not experience.  And compared to having one's head squeezed through a tube that is half the diameter of our skulls, the discomfort of withdrawal cannot be much worse!  Finally, a decade ago we did open heart surgeries on newborns without anesthesia-- using only paralyzing agents!  My biggest fear is that a mean nurse will make you feel bad, at a time that should be joyous.  I encourage you to ignore those who judge you for your decision to handle this in whatever way you ultimately choose.

I have quite a bit about buprenorphine and pregnancy on my blog, suboxonetalkzone.com.  I encourage you to go there and search for pregnancy, epidurals, breast feeding, etc.    I do have a reference there that you might want to share with your OB doc, about the mild nature of withdrawal in newborns on buprenorphine.  I think the risk of simply being in a neonatal ICU are greater than any risks directly from buprenorphine (we don't know of any risks to the infant at this point).  I have had 5 or 6 women go through pregnancy on buprenorphine, and all have done well.

Congratulations, and good luck!
2 Comments
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I just wanted to respond to your question.  I'm am also an addict.  I am currently taking Subutex and it works wonders for me.  Well, I did get pregnant so I'm guessing that has a ton to do with my staying clean.  Anyways,  I delivered my baby boy on Sunday March 8th.  On Tuesday March 10th the nurses had told me that he was experiencing some withdrawals.  I was shocked because so many women had said that their baby's were fine and they were taking a much higher dose than I was.  He was put in the NICU and stayed there for a week.  It was so hard for me to go home withot my baby.  I felt so bad that my lil one was uncomfortable and had to enter this world born addicted to a narcotic.  The Doctors put him on a schedule taking Methadone.  He was given .3mg 3x a day for one day, .3mg 2x a day, and so on.  As hard as this was for me he turned out fine.  I was so worried he was going to die.  He's doing well now.  By the way, you CAN breastfeed.  I wasn't aware of that but the lactation specialist told me it was fine.  They judge it by a level system, level 1- level 6.  You can breastfeed if it's anything from a level 1- level 3.  Subutex is a level 2.  It's safe.  I know all the sites and even some doctors say you can't but I assure you, ask a specialist.  They will tell you it's ok.  Good luck with everything.  Congrats on the baby.  You will be fine :)  
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Hey I jst figure I tell u my story bc I was on subutex and jst had my baby girl..I was on 16mg of sub and when she was born she had no withdraw...the 2nd day her score was @ a 2 and day 3 she was @ a 6 ....they did keep her a extra 2 days to monter for w/d symptoms bc they say it will start the worst on day 4...well luckly her worst was on day 3 wen she was a 6...she was very twitchey and u could notice and it killed me..but ne ways I found the nurses in the nursery were very nice it was the actual nurses that were mean n judgemental...but overall I was dichared on day 2 and then 2 days later she came home and is heathly as can b...she did have a little juandice and when I had her she swalloed amiodic fluid so I had that excuse that's why they wanted to keep her a little longer to tell my parents.....so good luck and jst pray to god every night and he will b by ur side...hope this helped and good luck...
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