Pregnancy should be an exciting time in a woman’s life. Unfortunately, addiction can compromise health and well-being of both woman and child. The good news is that there IS hope for recovery. At ROAD to a Better Life, we understand the associated issues of addiction and pregnancy and have a well-established program designed for pregnant women.

The Providers and staff at ROAD to a Better Life want your birthing experience to be as trouble and worry free as possible. No one in New Hampshire has more experience providing buprenorphine therapy to a pregnant individual with substance use disorder.

Please note: ROAD to a Better Life does not allow the use of any type of substance misuse while in the program.

About Pregnancy and Addiction

Pregnancy and addiction is a complex problem that requires treatment not only for the mother but the child as well. Exposure of the fetus to illicit and legal opioids can lead to a condition known as NEONATAL ABSTINENCE SYNDROME or NAS, which is more commonly referred to as baby withdrawal.

The ROAD program works to minimize the occurrence of NAS by using buprenorphine to treat addiction in pregnancy. The incidence and severity of NAS is greatly diminished compared with patients undergoing methadone treatments, which is the other drugs used to treat addiction in pregnancy.  Buprenorphine as been shown to be the safest drug to use for Medical Assisted Therapy for both the mother and child. It has also been shown recently that buprenorphine/naloxone medications (Suboxone, Bunavail, Zubsolv) are just as safe as buprenorphine by itself.

What to Expect At ROAD

Each patient will be seen weekly for the first 4-6 weeks, then every two weeks for the duration of the pregnancy. Our program works in concert with local hospitals and OB departments to ensure a continuity of care throughout labor and delivery.

We want the entire pregnancy and birth experience to be one of joy and comfort for all of our patients. To ensure the very best outcomes, patients are required to participate in our Group Therapy Program, individual counseling or Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) as part of the recovery process. Urine drug screens are conducted during each appointment to verify our patients are on track and getting well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, it is very safe. The amount of buprenorphine in breast milk is negligible.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) is when the fetus is exposed to illicit as well as legal opioids, it is sometimes referred to as baby withdrawal.

NAS is determined by testing ,or scoring the newborn frequently over a 5 day period using the modified Finnegan Scoring System which is a list of 22 different items and is done by the OB nurses. If there are three scores in a row of 8 or higher, the infant might be considered for treatment of withdrawal by using morphine in small amounts. The 5 day protocol is a national  standard for any child born to a mother with a substance use disorder.

We have a well-established pain protocol that is effective ever for C-Sections if they occur. Opiates are to be avoided because they will have no effect when a patient is on buprenorphine.