Breastfeeding Recommendations for Women Impacted by Opioid Use Disorder and Infants with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Originally presented on August 1, 2019


The prevalence of Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) among pregnant women and neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) by infants have been rising with the increasing severity of the opioid crisis. Improving the identification and treatment of pregnant women with OUD and the care of infants with NAS (a type of withdrawal syndrome that can cause hyperirritability, feeding challenges and respiratory issues), is critically needed. 

When women with OUD seek medical care and support, it is an opportunity for them to receive prenatal care appropriate to their needs. Women should be made aware that breastfeeding can play a key role in the treatment of NAS by decreasing its duration and severity. Providers should understand that some women may feel ashamed to discuss their struggle with opioids or fear the consequences.  

This webcast will provide resources for identifying pregnant, breastfeeding, and post-partum women with OUD, strategies and tools for discussing it with them, and approaches to refer them to the most appropriate options for support and follow up.

Target Audience

Local and state public health professionals, clinicians (physicians, midwives, health care providers, nurses) and lactation specialists.

Federally funded through the New York State Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).



Breastfeeding Recommendations for Women Impacted by Opioid Use Disorder and Infants with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome


Learn More


Lisa M. Cleveland PhD, RN, CPNP, IBCLC, NTMNC, FAAN 
Associate Professor of Nursing 
Texas Center for Health Disparities STAR Fellow, School of Nursing 
University of Texas Health San Antonio 
Matthew Grossman, MD 
Associate Professor of Pediatrics 
Interim Chief, Section of Pediatric Hospital Medicine, Department of Pediatrics 
Yale School of Medicine & Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital

Learning Outcome and Objectives

As a result of this activity, the learner will increase their knowledge and competence in treating patients with OUD/NAS and empowering women to provide support and treatment to their baby through skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding.

After watching this webcast participants will be able to:

  • Summarize the impact of opioid use on maternal and infant health outcomes; 
  • Explain how to identify women and infants impacted by opioid use; 
  • Describe the importance of breastfeeding and mother-infant bonding during OUD and NAS; 
  • Discuss best practices to support women with OUD to successfully breastfeed their infants; and 
  • Identify strategies and referral practices to enhance the continuity of care and follow-up support across service areas.
Evaluation, Post-Test and Certificate
Continuing Education Credits

Continuing Education Credits expired for this program on August 31, 2022. We encourage you to fill out the evaluation as your responses helps us to plan future programs.