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E-ISSN : 2148-9696
Crescent Journal of
Medical and Biological Sciences
Jan 2020, Vol 7, Issue 1
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Investigating The Duration of Exclusive Breastfeeding, The Challenges Ahead And Ways to Extend The Lactation Period in Drug-Addicted Mothers: A Review Article
Fereshteh Sadeghi1, Monir Ramezani2,3, Nayere Kargarkakhki1, Gholam-Hosein Zarifnejhad4
1School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
2Nursing and Midwifery Care Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
3Evidence-Based Care Research Center, Department of Pediatric Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
4Department of Community Health and Psychiatric Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

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Keywords : Neonatal abstinence syndrome, Drug-addicted mothers, Exclusive breastfeeding, Continued breastfeeding; Breastfeeding barrier
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Objectives:The prevalence of drug abuse among pregnant women is increasing worldwide, putting their infants at the risk of many disorders. Neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) is considered a neurological syndrome in infants, exposed to narcotics during pregnancy. It has been implicated that breastfeeding markedly reduces the incidence and severity of NAS, as well as the need for therapeutic agents.The present study aimed to investigate the duration of exclusive breastfeeding and the hospital stay of infants with NAS, the challenges ahead, and solutions to extend the lactation period in drug-addicted mothers.

Materials and Methods:In this study, a number of review articles indexed in PubMed, Google Scholar, and Medline databases were scrutinized. The chosen review articles surveyed experimental/quasi-experimental studies published between 2004-2018 and the following keywords namely,neonatal abstinence syndrome, drug-addicted mothers, exclusive breastfeeding barriers, and continued breastfeeding.

Results:According to the results, the duration of continued breastfeeding in drug-addicted women was short, and it failed in the first six months after delivery. The critical factors that interfere with continued breastfeeding were categorized into individual, family, and social barriers.  Social barriers consisted of fear and misconception about lactation, lack of awareness and motivation, and the lack of family support and health care centers. The findings suggest that mother training during the pregnancy period, mother-infant rooming-in, and mother-infant skin-to-skin contact could be potentially applied to extend the duration of the lactation period in drug-addicted pregnant women.

Conclusion:Hospitals should provide a comfortable environment for the encouragement of drug-addicted women to breastfeed infants with NAS. It seems that providing resource and facilities where drug-addicted women could discuss barriers to breastfeeding, as well as gaining access to lactation counselor and other professional practitioners would help mothers to continue breastfeeding.


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