Methadone and NAS- from a mom's perspective - page 2

by MamaAndDoula 16,162 Views | 14 Comments

I have been reading over some posts on the topic on this forum today and wanted to start a thread to address several topics. I realize some of the posts I read were several years old and that the info may have been right at the... Read More


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    After reading everyone elses posts I thought I would say one more thing. I do agree that your story is not the norm.....but maybe with better education and preparation it could be! Like I said in my last post moms tend to feel so guilty and I think that is why many do not spend much time with their infants. Now I am referring to moms on a treatment plan (Subutex or Methadone), not illegal drugs. I can definitely respect anyone taking the initiative for treatment. These baby's require extra tlc and I just think it is great that you bonded so well with your child and you provided that extra tlc. It's tough as a nurse to have parents spend minimal time with their child, I personally bond with these baby's when I take care of them for weeks. I love all the baby's I care for I just feel it is so so so important for parents to bond with their baby's.
    Sunshine_ likes this.
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    It is great if the mother wants to get treatment I praise that myself but let me explain some stories are heartbreaking my grandson was born a week ago n suffering withdrawals from subutex.. its an awful sight and so heartbreaking for this innocent child to go thru this ...I know in long run he will be fine but he shouldnt have to go thru this n to hear the mother state I was addicted to opiods and this was better option for baby because unknown what effect subutex has and minimal if any treated for a few weeks and then he is fine like its perfectly normal....and to say insurnce pays for it ....I read up on subutex basically it is replacing addiction with something similar that cant be stopped...it mimics drug choice...I dont feel this should be prescribed to pregnant women there are other alternatives....I know because I watched it with first pregnancy she just quit and baby was healthly and no withdrawals ...this time she didnt say anything until baby started withdrawals....luv my grandson
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    I am a nurse that gave these mothers every benefit of a doubt, but I have learned, the subutex, methadone and suboxone mothers came in two varieties:

    1. The regretful
    2. The entitled...we all know who these mothers are. They don't want to get better. I am going to discuss the former.

    While I don't feel that the majority of mothers who are on replacement therapy get pregnant on purpose, I do feel that they don't full realize that all they have done is substitute one Schedule II drug for another. The taxpayers, IN MOST cases, pay for this twice. They pay not only for the therapy but most of these people don't work. Therefore, we are paying for that too. Very rarely did I ever see these babies admitted to the NICU that had regular insurance, it was always a state policy.

    Therefore, it's important to know that if you are in a replacement therapy program that an addict HAS NOT RECOVERED. As long as you are in the program, the addiction continues. However, the mentality is that they 'cured' and they are NOT!!!!!

    I have never, in my life, ran into someone that said, "Oh, I USED TO BE in a program, but now I am completely drug free."

    Never....ever.

    They are in the programs for one, two, three years, even longer. Instead of going down in dosages, they go up. I believe very strongly that addicts that need help should get help. However, I believe one year should be the limit for these programs. That is plenty of time. I believe that the so-called drug testing in these programs is lax...mainly because I can count on one hand with fingers left over of how many times I saw a mother that was in a replacement therapy program that didn't test positive for other substances.

    Opiate addiction is a choice. Less than 1% of all addicts are addicted because of routine pain medications...but to ask any of them they'll tell you the story about the surgery, broken limb, etc...that lead to their addiction.

    I don't agree with breastfeeding an NAS baby. A baby that is going through withdrawal is more concerned about the pain/nausea/vomiting/severe diarrhea/bleeding diaper rash stopping than the bonding. These babies are forced to go through WHAT THEIR MOTHERS WON'T. When the replacement therapy is done with these babies, they don't need to be exposed to more drugs NO MATTER HOW LITTLE is in the breast milk. They don't need to be exposed on and on on any level.

    I am so glad that they changed the policy here...if you test positive for an illegal substance or any opiate, you are not permitted to breastfeed while your baby is in the hospital, period. Mom can do whatever she wants after the baby goes home.
    ksrn20 likes this.
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    I recently had a baby born to me while I was taking subutex. I didn't plan on getting pregnant. I was about to detox of my replacement therapy of suboxone. Alas, that was not to be. My baby needed no withdrawal medicine at all, we breastfed, and would have been out of the hospital by the mandatory 5 day stay, but stayed an extra day for jaundice treatment under the bilirubin light. I stayed with my son constantly. I knew that many people on replacement therapy don't try very hard, and I wanted to be a good example for hospital staff to remember about how some parents do care, and not every recovering addict is a monster. The roommate I had after moving to the observation floor didn't have a parent, period. I heard from staff that dhhs took away parental rights because of illegal drugs in the mother's system that weren't monitored or prescribed. That baby had been there for over a month. And was still being detoxed. My baby never scored higher than a seven, and by the fourth day was scoring zeros. The staff said it was because I did breastfeed. I still am, and love my bonding time with my baby while still on leave from my job. It can be done right.
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    The fact that the mother quit replacement therapy while pregnant is to me, more dangerous for the unborn child than the mother, and completely irresponsible. That child could have died before it had a chance to live. Every doctor I have spoken with, and all the research I have done would recommend stabilizing replacement therapy as opposed to quitting cold turkey. That was a long shot, my friend, amd could've had detrimental effects.


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