Clinical management of the breast-feeding mother-infant dyad in recovery from opioid dependence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Human milk is one of the most health-promoting and cost-effective nutritional substances known to humankind. Breastmilk provides substantial and remarkable physiological and psychological health benefits. Within the last decade, there has been a resurgence of breast-feeding in the United States and worldwide and an increased awareness of the immense health benefits for mothers, infants, and societies that support it. Each motherYbaby dyad is a unique pair, with distinct relationships, biases, barriers, and obstacles. This article aims to address clinical management for the opioid-recovering breast-feeding dyad and to translate current evidenced-based practice findings, recommendations, and resources to best support this unique population. The recovering breast-feeding mother and newborn with opioid dependence deserve special consideration and expert care to foster their recovery and breast-feeding efforts. It is our moral and ethical responsibility as healthcare professionals to enable, foster, and promote breast-feeding among all families, especially those who stand to benefit the greatest. Substance recovery cannot be treated in isolation, nor can breast-feeding efforts; an interdisciplinary professional team effort promises the greatest chances for recovery success. With appropriate evidence-based practice support, training, and intervention by knowledgeable professionals, many women can overcome the biases and obstacles associated with opioid recovery to successfully breast-feed their babies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-77
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of addictions nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast-feeding
  • Buprenorphine
  • Heroin
  • Lactation support
  • Methadone
  • Neonatal abstinence syndrome
  • Opioid
  • Primary care
  • Recovery
  • Tri-Core Breastfeeding Model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Phychiatric Mental Health


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