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Question: Is breastfeeding useful in the management of neonatal abstinence syndrome?
  1. Julie Lefevere1,2,
  2. Karel Allegaert1,2
  1. 1Department of Development and Regeneration, KU Leuven, Belgium
  2. 2Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Dr Karel Allegaert, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, University Hospital, Herestraat 49, Leuven 3000, Belgium; karel.allegaert{at}

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Case scenario

A 23-year-old woman is admitted to the postnatal ward after she gave birth to a term infant of 3 kg. During pregnancy, she is known to have used methadone. There is no known use of other illicit drugs or prescription medication. The midwife who is taking care of this woman and her baby asks if she can encourage the mother to breastfeed her child.

Structured clinical question

Can a mother who used methadone during pregnancy (patient) breastfeed her newborn (intervention) to help the management of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) (outcome)?


Search strategy: terms used: Breastfeeding AND neonatal abstinence syndrome →65 results (16 reviews and systematic reviews) →5 relevant.1–5

The results were excluded if they were not about methadone use, not in English …

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  • Funding K Allegaert is supported by the Fund for Scientific Research, Flanders (fundamental clinical investigatorship 1800214N). The research activities are further facilitated by the agency for innovation by Science and Technology in Flanders (IWT) through the SAFEPEDRUG project (IWT/SBO 130033).

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.