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Written by


Dr.Randell L. Stenson

Opioid Addiction Treatment During Pregnancy: Emphasizing the Importance of Bonding and Treatment



Exploring the importance of opioid addiction treatment during pregnancy, emphasizing the role of buprenorphine and methadone, and highlighting the significance of mother-infant bonding through nursing and the swaddling approach for infant well-being.

Addiction is a pressing concern in our society, impacting individuals, families, and communities at large. Among the affected populations are pregnant women, who face unique challenges when grappling with opioid addiction. It's essential to emphasize the vital importance of seeking treatment during pregnancy to ensure the well-being of both the mother and the child.

The Significance of Nursing & Bonding During Treatment

The bond between mother and child is sacred and plays a crucial role in the overall well-being of the infant. This bond starts as early as the nursing phase. For mothers undergoing opioid addiction treatment, there might be concerns about the effects of medications like methadone or buprenorphine on breastfeeding. As stated in the referenced video, these medications are present in very minimal amounts in breast milk.

Encouragingly, the continuation of nursing and fostering the mother-infant bond during the treatment phase has its merits. This act significantly enhances the relationship between the two. Moreover, the infant's health benefits from the mother's milk, coupled with the emotional and psychological gains from the bonding experience.

The Swaddling Approach

Dealing with irritability in newborns, especially those born to mothers undergoing opioid addiction treatment, requires a gentle and compassionate approach. One method is the swaddling approach, where irritable infants are wrapped in comfortable blankets, held close, and softly spoken to. This method provides a sense of security and comfort to the baby, often making medications unnecessary during these trying moments.

The Role of Buprenorphine and Methadone in Treatment During Pregnancy

Both buprenorphine and methadone come highly recommended for use during pregnancy, especially if the expecting mother was already on either treatment before the pregnancy. These treatments play a pivotal role in ensuring the health and well-being of the mother and the child.

When an expectant mother, addicted to opioids, seeks treatment, a discussion takes place regarding the choice between buprenorphine and methadone. The treatment path is then decided based on the mother's preference and specific circumstances.


Seeking treatment for opioid addiction during pregnancy is of paramount importance. It is not only about the health of the expectant mother but also about ensuring a healthy start for the infant. With the right support and treatment, mothers can navigate this challenging phase with confidence and hope. It's essential for society to understand the significance of treatments like buprenorphine and methadone, and the role of nurturing practices like swaddling and breastfeeding, in supporting mothers on their journey to recovery.