Methadone maintenance and lactation: A review of the literature and current management guidelines

Lauren M. Jansson, Martha Velez, Cheryl Harrow

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Methadone offers significant therapeutic benefits to the population of pregnant, opiate-dependent women and is currently the treatment of choice for this group. Yet the problem of women who elect to breastfeed while on methadone maintenance frequently vexes providers. Although breast milk offers advantages clearly beneficial to the general population of infants, there is debate about recommending breastfeeding to postpartum women receiving methadone maintenance. Although previous research has shown that amounts of methadone in breast milk appear to be very small, and therefore breastfeeding seems to be safe, women on methadone do not often breastfeed, for a variety of reasons. This article provides an overview of the issues facing providers in treating methadone-maintained women who elect to breastfeed. A comprehensive review of existing literature on the subject is offered, along with clinical advice for practitioners providing care to this population of women and children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-71
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Human Lactation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2004


  • Breastfeeding
  • Drug-exposed infants
  • Lactation
  • Methadone maintenance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Methadone maintenance and lactation: A review of the literature and current management guidelines'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this