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Curtin University
Perinatal Care of Substance Using Mothers and Their Infants


While breast milk is widely accepted as the ideal source of nutrition for infants, the decision to breastfeed the infant of a substance using mother does require consideration of the risks and benefits which present themselves in the presence of substance use. These risks and benefits need to be determined on an individual basis following discussion with each mother, the advice being tailored to her particular situation, so that she can make an informed choice. Consistent advice that does not exaggerate the perceived risk will help put any concerns or feelings of guilt the mother may have about possible harm to their baby into perspective.