Detox & Drug Rehab In Orange County

Pregnancy and Addiction in Women

Risks of Abusing Drugs While Pregnant

Addiction can affect anyone at any time. This is also true of pregnant women. When a pregnant woman suffers from an addiction, she needs specialized treatment that takes into consideration her delicate condition. Drug abuse not only exposes the mother to harmful substances but also puts the fetus at risk for birth defects and health problems. A woman who drinks during pregnancy puts her child at risk of:

  • Low birth weight
  • Cognitive and behavioral problems
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome

Clearly, when a pregnant woman uses drugs, those drugs not only affect her but can have detrimental effects on her unborn child. Therefore, in addition to the mother’s addiction treatment, the infant will need to be treated as well. Babies born to mothers who used some drugs, including opioids, may suffer withdrawal after birth referred to as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). Babies with NAS may experience such problems as:

  • Seizures
  • Low birth weight
  • Feeding difficulties
  • Respiratory issues
  • Death

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Pregnant Women and Detox

The health of the mother and baby is paramount. Therefore, a pregnant woman suffering from substance abuse must be under the care of a physician to ensure she and her unborn baby safely detox. Treating someone with addiction who is also pregnant requires a unique treatment plan that is designed to treat the mother and baby in the safest way possible. The methods involved in treating the addiction will depend upon the substance that is involved, the duration of the addiction, the mother’s physical health and her psychiatric history. Detox for pregnant women can involve the following:

  • Weaning the mother off a drug until that drug is no longer taken
  • Using replacement medications when treating an opiate addiction
  • Using prescribed medications to treat an alcohol addiction

When treating withdrawal symptoms, the ultimate goal is the safety of the mother and unborn baby. Medications should be used sparingly and for as short a time as possible. Medications, such as methadone and buprenorphine, are often used for pregnant women with addiction to help them from developing more serious withdrawal symptoms that could have a negative effect on the unborn child. Medicines are used only when the benefits outweigh the risks, and in the case of a pregnant woman, close medical supervision is vital.

Seeking Help

A pregnant woman who has substance abuse problems may avoid seeking help. She may fear being judged by others. She may also feel that if she consumed drugs or alcohol in the first trimester, then the damage is done so there’s no point in seeking help. This, however, has been proven to be untrue. With the discontinuance of the offending substance and good prenatal care, an unborn baby can thrive. The fear and apprehension a pregnant woman may feel about getting help involves legitimate concerns. When seeking rehab in Huntington Beach, CA, health care professionals understand these concerns and can work with the patient to alleviate anxiety and help the patient get on the road to recovery. Addiction is like any other chronic disease. If you seek treatment, you have a good chance of recovering and living a quality of life and having a healthy baby. However, left untreated, addiction is a problem that continues to grow. If you or someone you know is pregnant and suffering from addiction, then the best thing you can do for yourself and your unborn baby is to seek help.

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