What is it about?

An intervention founded on practical, informational and environmental elements was supportive of continued breastfeeding of an infant at risk of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. Opiate dependent women were more receptive to strategies promoting a person-centered approach that were specific to their individualized infant feeding needs and delivered within an emotionally supportive environment. Barriers to the acceptability of breastfeeding advice included discouraging, prescriptive and judgemental healthcare actions and attitudes.

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Why is it important?

International guidelines recommend the promotion and protection of breastfeeding for the substance exposed mother and baby. Yet few studies have explored the facilitators, moderators and barriers to successful breastfeeding for women enrolled on opiate maintenance treatment, or suggested targeted support strategies. The aim of this study was to explore the views of women with opiate dependence on proposed elements for inclusion in a breastfeeding support intervention. Sustained breastfeeding in this population has been shown to improve clinical outcomes for the baby, support capacity building and bonding for the mother and reduce health service costs.


A publication using data generated during a student PhD.

Dr Sonya MacVicar
Edinburgh Napier University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Breastfeeding support and opiate dependence: A think aloud study, Midwifery, July 2017, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.midw.2017.04.013.
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