Pregnancy and Addiction: The Importance of Achieving Sobriety

happy pregnant women are talking together at antenatal class

Women who are suffering from addiction and become pregnant need and deserve caring, compassionate support to help protect their health and the health of their baby. Outpatient drug rehab offers the opportunity to recover while remaining available for prenatal care, birthing classes, and home preparations for the baby on the way.

Seeking addiction treatment as soon as possible will help protect the growing child from the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol. The earlier this intervention and support for sobriety begins, the less likely the risk factors are to become a reality.

In reviewing the information provided about the dangerous combination of pregnancy and addiction, remember that you have the power to make a positive change at any time and reduce the negative impacts of past choices.

What Are the Risks of Drug Use During Pregnancy?

Because the expectant mother and the baby are connected by the umbilical cord, many chemical toxins can reach the baby as a result of an ongoing substance abuse disorder. The growing child does not have strong liver and kidney function and cannot eliminate these substances effectively.

Without prompt inpatient or outpatient treatment, these conditions can cause complications with pregnancy and issues with fetal development, including:2

  • Miscarriage or stillbirth
  • Premature delivery and low birth weight
  • Birth defects, chronic illness, and developmental disorders
  • Sudden infant death syndrome
  • Drug dependency and withdrawal for the infant

What Is Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

Alcohol use during pregnancy causes a wide variety of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. FASD is a group of disorders affecting the newborn’s health and development. The most severe of these is fetal alcohol syndrome or FAS. About 1 in 1000 infants in the United States is born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.3

Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders cause:

  • Growth problems and failure to thrive
  • Abnormal facial appearance affecting the nose, eyes, and lips
  • Central nervous system abnormalities, including epilepsy
  • Cognitive disorders, low IQ, and attention and memory disorders
  • Structural abnormalities of the head and brain

mother kissing her newborn baby

What Drug Rehabilitation Programs Are Available for Pregnant Women?

Studies show that as many as 70% of women at risk of alcohol use during pregnancy have an existing mental health issue and/or a history of past physical or sexual abuse.1 Rather than blaming expectant mothers who have the disease of addiction, the most effective way to help break this cycle is to provide resources and guidance to support long-term sobriety.

With options like group therapy, individual counseling, medically supervised detox, and outpatient follow-up care, expectant mothers can find healing and take meaningful steps to protect their baby from harm. Programs for mothers-to-be should offer all possible options to help stop the cycle of addiction and abuse.

Outpatient drug counseling with BlueCrest Recovery Center is a process that starts with respect for the individuals who have made an empowering decision to achieve sobriety. No matter what your current circumstances, this compassion and experience can help you transform your own life and the lives of those who depend on you. Contact us to make the best possible choice for a healthy family future.

Sources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2139915
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/alcohol-drugs#drug-use-duringpregnancy
  3. https://health.facty.com/conditions/pregnancy/9-symptoms-treatments-and-prevention-of-fetal-alcohol-syndrome/3/