Pregnant and postpartum women with substance use disorders have very unique needs and can present challenges to healthcare providers who are not familiar with how to evaluate and respond properly to their necessities. One such situation frequently arises when women with substance use disorders wish to breast-feed. There are many benefits and challenges to this practice that are specific to this population, and treating practitioners are often unclear on how to address them. The purpose of this article is to identify barriers to lactation in substance-exposed dyads and to provide strategies to mitigate these barriers and for promoting lactation in appropriate women with substance use disorders who wish to breast-feed.
Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland (Dr Jansson); and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland (Dr Velez).
Corresponding Author: Lauren M. Jansson, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 4940 Eastern Ave, D4, Baltimore, MD 21224 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Disclosure: The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.
Submitted for publication: January 12, 2015; accepted for publication: March 17, 2015.