GETTING CLEAN WHILE PREGNANT: THE INEVITABLE
Facts are facts: you’re pregnant, which is a joyous occasion. But you’re also addicted. You’re a drug abuser, yet realize you now have another life to look out for. A life that in turn will look to you for protection and guidance.
So, as you go through your pregnancy, you also decide to detox. You know that the sooner you do this, the less risk there is of your child being born addicted, and from there, potentially go through the painful periods of their own detox and recovery.
Well, until recently, such a notion did not exist. Pregnant women who were users seemed to not even have been on the landscape of treatable drug addiction.
However, with the increase in opioid addiction (among other drugs), drug dependency is now rooted in all facets of society, from the working poor to the ultra-wealthy.
These days, women from all walks of life, pregnant women included, have begun to surface as statistics in today’s worldwide drug epidemic.
GETTING CLEAN WHILE PREGNANT: THE RISKS FROM FETUS TO NEWBORN
Alcohol, tobacco and other drugs put both the mother and her pregnancy at risk. Heavy users can affect their offspring to a point where they have deliriousness, which can last long after birth.
In short, it’s as if the child is born intoxicated.
Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of a stillbirth, infant mortality, sudden infant death syndrome, preterm birth, respiratory problems, slowed fetal growth, and low birth weight.
Other than the delirium associated with drinking during pregnancy, the child can also develop fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, which is characterized by low birth weight and enduring cognitive and behavioral problems.
GETTING CLEAN WHILE PREGNANT: OPIOIDS FROM FETUS TO NEWBORN
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) states that prenatal use of some drugs, including opioids, may cause a withdrawal syndrome in newborns called neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Babies with NAS are at greater risk of seizures, respiratory problems, feeding difficulties, low birth weight and even death.
GETTING CLEAN WHILE PREGNANT: HOW TO TREAT THE MOTHER’S AND CHILD’S ADDICTION
Research has established that there are medications for pregnant women who are addicted. And while it seems a great amount of attention is put on the mother in cases like this, remember that two lives now rely on the mother’s health.
Methadone maintenance combined with prenatal care and a comprehensive drug treatment program can improve many of the detrimental outcomes associated with untreated heroin abuse.
The caveat is newborns exposed to methadone during pregnancy might also require treatment for opioid withdrawal.
If the child does suffer withdrawals, an alternative is buprenorphine which has been introduced as a treatment option for opioid dependence.
Buprenorphine produces fewer NAS symptoms in babies than methadone, resulting in shorter infant hospital stays. In general, it is important to closely monitor women who are trying to quit drug use during pregnancy and to provide treatment as needed.
GETTING CLEAN WHILE PREGNANT: FUTURE TREATMENTS
Newer and less severe treatments are becoming available for addicted mothers on a very rapid basis.
With direct and instructional handling, as well as behavior modification in which a mother-to-be is counseled about the responsibilities that lie beyond herself, a pregnant woman can receive comprehensive and educational care about her addiction as well as how it might affect her child.
What can’t be stressed enough is the timeliness in which this needs to occur. So, seek out a treatment center once you perceive an addiction problem within either yourself or a pregnant friend or loved one.
When two lives depend on one’s own mental and physical good health, an intervention should transpire much sooner than later.
If you feel alcohol and/or drugs is causing a block between yourself and your loved ones, contact BLVD Treatment Centers. At BLVD Treatment Centers, we custom tailor our recovery programs within the safe and nurturing confines of our rehab treatment centers. We specialize in programs that include alcohol and drug detox and recovery, intensive outpatient rehabilitation, and specialty curriculums for members of the LGBTQ+ society.
Located throughout California, in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego and in Portland, OR, our mission is to assess the severity of your addiction to help you achieve true recovery within 30 days. Call us now at 1-866.582.9844.
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