Sunday, July 13, 2014

Being A Pregnant Recovering Addict on Methadone

It's really hard for me to be open to people about being on methadone because of the negative stigma attached to it and now that I'm pregnant its even worst. Most people who aren't well informed about methadone seem to automatically think I'm a bad mother or that theirs going to be something wrong with my baby. I've personally seen many people on methadone have babies and all of them were perfect little bundles of joy. Being on meth is better than being on drugs and stopping meth or tapering off could lead to a miscarriage so trust me when I say I've looked into it and I'm doing the best I can for my little baby. I was tapering off before I got pregnant but I stopped when I found out because I didn't want to cause anymore stress on the baby and my body then it was already going through.

That being said its not easy being on methadone, my pharmacy totally screwed up my dose couple weeks ago and I went into major withdrawal for a week because they refused to fix it until my next pick up date. I hadn't felt that bad in a very long time. I can't explain the symptoms to someone whose never had them but I promise you their terrible and being pregnant made it all that much worst. I couldn't even take anything for it besides Tylenol which didn't really help and I was hesitant to take even that.

I've been taken by surprise by how much people expect pregnant women to follow these strict rules and get judge so negatively if they don't. Their so many dos and donts that I wasn't even aware of and how harsh some people can be if they find out your not doing or avoiding certain things. For example, the big issue about smoking when pregnant is so frowned upon that women posting in forums asking for advice on how to cut down or quit are met with rude comments. If their reactions were that rude to smoking I can just imagine how bad it would be if someone were to mention they were on methadone.

These people say things like just quit its your babies life, don't you care, your such a bad mother. Do they not know how these comments can really affect a pregnant hormonal person who's already worrying her but off about her babies health and safety. Like if it was that easy don't you think they would of done it already. I honestly think as a society we need to lay off the judgement and instead help each other out and accept peoples choices, that includes even me. Most of us are just doing the best we can and the judging doesn't help. I always try an remember that when I feel like judging someone for doing things differently than me.

This Post was Published On KLEN + SOBR Go Check it out :)

I've found that it helped to know as much as possible about methadone and pregnancy so I could answer any comments or questions people gave me. What I've found is this:

Is methadone safe for my baby?
Methadone treatment for pregnant women has been studied for the past 40 years and is considered the “gold standard” of treatment for pregnant women with opiate use disorder. Most babies born exposed to methadone have withdrawals and the hospital has medications to help the baby stay comfortable and manage withdrawal symptoms. If you stop using opiates suddenly you could miscarry, therefore it’s important to enter treatment if you are using illicit opiates or continue your medication-assisted treatment if you were in treatment when you became pregnant.
What if I want to taper off methadone?
Tapering is not recommend while you are pregnant, but you can always talk the medical staff at your treatment center about this issue. Being pregnant can be a very exciting and wonderful experience, but it can also be very stressful and scary. Tapering can add to that stress and some people have urges to use when they taper, even when they aren’t pregnant. Many pregnant patients feel it’s not worth the chance of relapsing, feeling withdrawals, and possibly miscarriage, so they decide to discuss tapering options after they give birth.
What about my dose…should I try to stay below a certain amount?
The most important thing to think about is how are you feeling physically. It’s important to take a dose of methadone that will keep you from having withdrawals or cravings for 24 hours (we call this a therapeutic level of methadone). When you first begin methadone treatment it may take a bit of time before you reach a therapeutic level. There is no certain number of milligrams you should try to stay below. There is no clear evidence that if you stay below a certain level of methadone will guarantee your infant will not have withdrawal symptoms.
Because of the changes in your body during pregnancy, it’s not uncommon for women to need an increase in their methadone during the third trimester. With that said, you can most likely return to your pre-pregnancy dose after you deliver.
Explaining this too people who might judge me for being on methadone or tell me to stop seems to have helped and I hope it helps you also. Its also important to remember that some people minds can't be change as they rather stay close minded and set in their ways so dont let people opinions affect you too much. I know its hard I'm still having problems with this.