Obstetric management of women with opioid use disorder

Emily W Rosenthal, Jason K Baxter
Seminars in Perinatology 2019, 43 (3): 168-172
Pregnancy presents a window of opportunity for effecting positive change in the lives of women with opioid use disorder (OUD). Care should be empathetic and nonjudgmental with a focus on counseling for initiation and maintenance of beneficial health behaviors as well as development of a strong patient-provider relationship.1 These include adherence to treatment of OUD through pharmacotherapy and behavioral counseling, smoking cessation, healthy nutrition, treatment of coexisting medical and psychosocial conditions, as well as preparation for the postpartum period through breastfeeding education and antenatal discussion of contraception. Women will also benefit from anticipatory guidance with regard to neonatal abstinence syndrome (see Chapter 7). This may include a consultation with pediatric or neonatal providers who will be caring for their infants. In the absence of other obstetric indications, minimal additional fetal assessment outside that of standard prenatal care is recommended for OUD.


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