Addiction can be a serious problem for both women and their unborn children. If left untreated, addiction can lead to health problems, financial instability, and relationship problems. Women’s addiction treatment can help her to get his life back on track. Treatment typically includes programs that address the underlying causes of addiction. Pregnant women who are struggling with addiction may benefit from specialized care, including nutrition counseling and support groups.
Pregnancy and Addiction: The Many Dangers
Mother and baby can be exposed to the dangers of using drugs or alcohol while pregnant. Many factors can influence the severity of the risks, including the type of substance used by the mother, the frequency with which she uses it, and when she began using it.
The mother’s addiction can lead to a variety of risks for the unborn child, including premature birth and developmental defects as well as stillbirth. Babies can develop withdrawal symptoms (NAS) after birth. You may also experience substance-specific damage, such as fetal alcohol syndrome. This can lead to cognitive and developmental problems for the rest of their lives. Addictive mothers are more likely to have heart defects in their babies. These defects are a leading cause of death in infants born before they reach their first birthday.
Other risks can be faced by the baby, such as:
- Learning deficits or behavior in later life
- Slower growth rates
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Placental abruption
Addictive mothers face additional risks during pregnancy. Pregnant women who use drugs can delay receiving the necessary prenatal care. For fear of negative consequences or losing custody of their child, some people avoid seeking prenatal care.
Although it is unfair, there is a stigma attached to using drugs and alcohol during pregnancy. An addict can’t stop using drugs or alcohol when she finds out she is pregnant. The added stress of being pregnant can make it more difficult for a woman to quit using.
Safely detox during pregnancy
While detox can present dangers to anyone, it is more dangerous for pregnant women. A detox specialist and an obstetrician should be consulted before recommending pregnancy detox. Many women require detox in an inpatient setting that provides 24-hour medical monitoring for both mother and baby.
If you are pregnant, detoxing from alcohol can increase the chance of miscarriage. To be as safe as possible, people who are addicted to opioids, stimulants, or sedatives need to consider inpatient detox. In some cases, miscarriage risks can be so great that replacement therapy with buprenorphine and methadone might be necessary. Both drugs can lead to neonatal abstinence syndrome symptoms, but the outcome can still be controlled if the mother is careful during pregnancy.
Help is available for addicted pregnant mothers
Women who are pregnant and need support can be afraid to seek it out, or fear being judged by care providers. A growing number of professionals are becoming more aware of the importance of providing support for women who have substance abuse problems during pregnancy. Some obstetricians work in partnership with addiction recovery professionals to make a difference.
There are now more recovery programs that cater specifically to mothers-to-be. Nearly four out of every four national rehabilitation programs have resources for pregnant women. Comprehensive care plans are being developed to help moms and their babies get through difficult situations. Help is available for pregnant women who are addicted or their loved ones. It is possible to have a healthier pregnancy. Professionals can help you get healthy and be a good parent to your child.