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Methadone & Pregnancy

The level of misinfo on here about this subject is sad.
Here are some facts:
There is an EXTREMELY HIGH risk of miscarriage if you detox from methadone while pregnant.
Lowering your dose WILL NOT mitigate neonatal withdrawal symptoms after birth. The fetus absorbs much of the dose, causing mom to be in constant withdrawal if dose is lowered, which is dangerous to the fetus. Federal methadone guidelines now recommend dosage increases during pregnancy.
Yes, the baby will go through withdrawal. Most competent physicians will put the baby on phenobarbital or other benzodiazepines and/or blood-pressure-lowering medications to help with it.
Breastfeeding is RECOMMENDED if done under the care and direction of a physician. Breastfeeding and subsequent weaning can offer more comfort to your baby because the methadone that secretes with the milk will help your baby's withdrawal, and when you slowly wean the child from breast milk you are also slowly weaning the baby off methadone. Note: methadone breastfeeding is usually weaned much earlier, right when the child starts soft foods.
There are no known severe birth defects in children born addicted to methadone. The most common neonatal issues are hyper Moro reflex and ineffective sucking reflex. Slightly delayed speech is common, but not devastating.

Also, it is ILLEGAL for any doctor prescribing methadone to detox a pregnant woman. Even if you are skipping mandatory counseling sessions; Even if your bill isn't being paid ("fee-toxing") Even if you are in the process of being "fee-toxed," or detoxed (tapered) off methadone and become pregnant, your taper will stop and your dose will be slowly increased to the baseline therapeutic dose (usually 80 mg/day) and will be adjusted (titered) based on mom's withdrawal symptoms. Even if you are planning to terminate the pregnancy, a detox will be stopped until the pregnancy is terminated. Again, a mom in any level of withdrawal is bad for a fetus.

Please do not listen to the judgy civilian ya-hoos on here. Call a clinic, do your research.
Most physicians have little to no experience with  (or much knowledge of) methadone and how it works and especially methadone and pregnancy. A doctor must hold special licensing to prescribe methadone for opiate addiction, and have the appropriate opiate-substitution training to do so. Therefore, you may not always get the current or correct advice from a general physician or OB-GYN. Your methadone clinic can't steer you to an OB-GYN with the correct addiction training.
4 Responses
Avatar universal
Also, suboxone is not usually recommended during pregnancy. If you are already on suboxone, you will most likely be switched over to methadone. Suboxone withdrawal in the pregnant woman is just as dangerous to the fetus as mom.going through methadone withdrawal.
Avatar universal
If on suboxone while pregnant, you'll be switched to subutex. Not necessarily methadone
1235186 tn?1549257619
What makes you think that we give wrong information?
We never tell pregnant women it is ok to detox off methadone or any
Opiate for that matter.

Yes many times they are put on subutex instead of methadone.
Or switched from suboxone to subutex.
495284 tn?1333894042
If a pregnant mom on methadone detoxes that is on her as we do not advise that.  Anytime we have this issue we ask the mom to be truthful with her doctor and to follow their orders.  We offer them the emotional support.
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495284 tn?1333894042
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