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 Post subject: Had 2 Subutex Babies
PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 4:50 pm 
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I relied on all the birth stories on this site while pregnant and never posted about my 12/2012 birth. I promised myself I'd post to help other Moms after this baby was born 2 weeks ago (11/7/2014). So here goes...
I have been on Subutex for 5 years, and had been on it for 2 years when I found out I was pregnant with my son. I was on 4 mg a day. I was quite nervous but kept taking it, just tapered down to 2 mg before his birth. He was born perfectly healthy and withdrawal free at 7 lbs 9 oz. we were discharged in 48 hours. I had a Csection, so I went back up to 4 mg for pain and over the next year actually went up to 6mg/day. This past April we found out we were expecting again. I was taking 6 mg a day and for some reason couldn't taper this time, I guess every pregnancy is different, but I'd feel withdrawals hard and fast when I tried to lower my dose. Our baby girl was born 2 weeks ago (11/7/2014) healthy and withdrawal free at 7 lbs, 1 oz. we were discharged in less than 48 hours. I am currently on 6 mg am breast feeding my daughter successfully. I also breast fed my son exclusively for 10 months (until my milk dried up).
I would also like to add that my best friend and I share a Subutex script and have done this for years, so I didn't (and still don't) have a prescription for it. That is what made me the most nervous about the births. I didn't tell my OB or the hospital staff about it either. Not recommending doing this, but I think a lot of the scoring is higher when they are looking for signs that may not be there just because they know you're on medication.
That is my story! I will be happy to discuss or answer any questions I can. Hope this helps someone!


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 Post subject: Re: Had 2 Subutex Babies
PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2014 9:36 pm 
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A number of studies have shown that mothers on bupe have babies with a 50% chance of showing NAS. A couple studies that looked at tapering saw no correlation between incidence and dose-- but I presume that a difference would show up if a study was done carefully enough (there must be some level where you don't see NAS anymore).

From my experiences, the chance of NAS is greater in hospitals that have high-risk NICU's, and the cynic in me wonders if they just like having their ICU beds filled... keeping a baby for 10-50 days is a HUGELY profitable exercise for hospitals.

I've had a couple patients who came to me after treating themselves with buprenorphine before becoming pregnant, and being forced by CPS to find a doc after having bupe-positive babies...

Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Had 2 Subutex Babies
PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 6:45 pm 
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suboxdoc wrote:
A number of studies have shown that mothers on bupe have babies with a 50% chance of showing NAS. A couple studies that looked at tapering saw no correlation between incidence and dose-- but I presume that a difference would show up if a study was done carefully enough (there must be some level where you don't see NAS anymore).

From my experiences, the chance of NAS is greater in hospitals that have high-risk NICU's, and the cynic in me wonders if they just like having their ICU beds filled... keeping a baby for 10-50 days is a HUGELY profitable exercise for hospitals.

I've had a couple patients who came to me after treating themselves with buprenorphine before becoming pregnant, and being forced by CPS to find a doc after having bupe-positive babies...

Good luck!


I'm currently pregnant with my 4th (and final) child. I've been on suboxone for 10 years, and although it took me a while to accept the fact that I need buprenorphine, I function better with it. I do have some side effects, but the benefits of this med far outweigh them & I am finally comfortable saying I will stay on it indefinitely:)

I've had 3 out of my 4 children on buprenorphine. My first baby was born before my addiction began. With my first suboxone pregnancy was in 2005. I was given the choice to switch to methadone or taper off. Back then no prescribing doctor would touch a pregnant patient with a 10 foot pole; I tapered off completely by 32 weeks and was told I could NOT resume buprenorphine while breastfeeding, so 6 weeks after my daughter was born, I switched her to a bottle and resumed maintenance suboxone (I felt like crap the entire 14 weeks I was off it; withdrawals were manageable, but once I got past those, I had no motivation, and felt drained, and just LOUSY overall without it).

I remarried in 2011 and I wanted more kids; I always wanted a big family, and after doing a lot of research, decided that I could safely have a baby and just wean again like the last time. My prescribing doc recommended against it and said the baby might have NAS but would be fine in the end. I did tell my ob my first apt that I was on it, & planning to come off. The only thing he asked was if it was that medicine that's like methadone; after that, never mentioned it. So I didn't either. I got down to 0.5mg and couldn't get any lower, and made the poor choice of omitting the fact that I was still taking it when I delivered my son. I was a nervous wreck during my entire hospital stay that someone would find out. Whenever he sneezed or cried, I agonized whether it could be the start of NAS? I also had anxiety attacks whenever the nurses took him, wondering if they'd see some "tell-tale" sign or symptom, and they'd never bring him back to me. It was the best and worst 2 days ever! I brought him home after 2 days, and could finally rest easy. At home, he nursed like a champ (for a year!), slept for several hours in between feeding, and was the most content baby ever. The only symptom I ever saw was that he would sometimes sneeze 4-5 times in a row. And of course he had those really messy diapers the first few days. **Why is loose stool a symptoms of NAS when (as far as I know) all babies have them the first few days?**

Anyway, I am in the same boat again, successfully tapering from 6mg (my normal dose) to 0.5mg. I discontinued my taper Sunday at 1/3mg and went back up to 0.5 because I just couldn't function anymore. I'm currently 33 weeks and cannot handle things for 7 weeks no subutex. My hubby is deployed and my kids need me to function!

My fear is the hospital stay. I have told my ob docs I'm tapering like the last time; only this time, one of them is actually paying more attention. He asked me if and how long they kept my son in the NICU for. When I told him they hadn't, he said he'd contact them to make sure they did this time. A nurse practicioner in the ob-group keeps referring to it as "methadone". I am truly terrified; but part of me thinks things will go more smoothly for both of us if I just lie and say I completed my taper. My prescribing doctor and the ob don't communicate.
But I know honesty is important for my baby to get the best care possible, and if she is truly uncomfortable, I want her treated; however, my biggest fear is that she'll be transferred to a bigger hospital for any tiny symptom or medicated unnecessarily due to ignorance or prejudiced nurses scoring.

**I KNOW for a fact how ignorant they are at this hospital; I had a horrific experience when I was hospitalized with clostridium difficile (c-diff infection) back in 2012. No one knew ANYTHING about buprenorphine; each doctor would just say they were going refer me to another doctor; after seeing probably 12 different docs (who finally diagnosed my excruciating pain which I'm sure they first assumed was just drug seeking behavior), they were afraid to give me anything stronger than Tylenol besides for the antibiotics. I suffered in agony for 5 days with NO pain relief what-so-ever and I literally though I was going to die, and for most of that time, I wished I would just die!**

I'm in between a rock and a hard place. From everything I've read, I think that the chances of my baby having NAS are very slim (being I'm only taking 0.5mg and I've had another baby at the same dose who had no symptoms). But also read it has to do with the function of the placenta, and each pregnancy is different; I've also read about babies being medicated for NAS at 0.5mg and 0.75mg maternal doses, but majority of those cases were suspected of biased scoring by the nursing staff and other infant issues (such as reflux) being the cause of the symptoms that were called "NAS" by an ignorant medical professional. I don't know what I should do!

_________________
There's no such thing as regret; there's what you do and what you don't do.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.


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Fond Du Lac Psychiatry
Dr. Jeffrey Junig, M.D., Ph.D.

  • Board Certified Psychiatrist
  • Asst Clinical Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin

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