Yes, if you or a loved one is pregnant or nursing and experiencing addiction, there are various appropriate treatment options available.
Substance abuse affects a wide range of people, including pregnant mothers and those who are nursing, and specialized treatment can help people during all stages of life.
Although there are more known health risks associated with substance use during pregnancy, for both mother and child, substance use while breastfeeding, particularly alcohol use, has also been shown to cause harm to the baby.
The Impact Of Substance Use During Pregnancy
Substance use during pregnancy can have profound and detrimental effects on both the mother and the developing fetus.
It increases the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, and developmental problems.
Drugs and alcohol can cross the placenta, affecting fetal development and potentially leading to birth defects, cognitive impairments, and behavioral issues later in life.
Additionally, substance use during pregnancy can lead to neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), where newborns experience withdrawal symptoms.
Receiving specialized addiction treatment with appropriate medical services during pregnancy minimizes these risks and helps ensure the health and well-being of both mother and child.
Addiction Treatment For Women Who Are Pregnant Or Nursing
Pregnant women can find addiction treatment options that take into consideration both their and their developing baby’s health.
Look for programs that specialize in addiction treatment during pregnancy, including prenatal care options.
Specialized addiction care during pregnancy may include:
- prenatal care
- nutritional guidance
- counseling tailored to the unique challenges of substance use during pregnancy
- medication-assisted treatment (MAT), in some cases
- individual and group therapy
- relapse prevention strategies specific to pregnancy and parenting
- peer support groups for pregnant people
You’ll also want to consider the severity of your addiction when choosing a care option.
People with more severe addictions, or who lack a stable, substance-free living situation, often benefit from inpatient or residential treatment programs.
Examples of addiction treatment programs include:
- inpatient treatment: provides 24/7 medical supervision in addition to behavioral health programs
- outpatient programs: offer flexibility, including the ability to remain living at home, but may require a strong support system outside of treatment
- detox centers with experience in detox during pregnancy: provide medical monitoring, frequent check-ups, and collaboration between addiction specialists and prenatal care providers
Finding A Specialized Addiction Treatment Center
Finding a suitable treatment center for addiction during pregnancy is possible and may start with recommendations from healthcare professionals or a simple online search.
In addition to the availability of pregnancy-specific care, consider factors such as:
- location of the facility
- treatment approaches
- accreditation and licensure of the facility
- reviews from past clients
- staff credentials
- health insurance acceptance
Contact potential treatment centers to discuss your specific needs, inquire about their treatment modalities, and ask about the expertise of their staff.
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Published on September 22, 2023
Addiction Resource aims to provide only the most current, accurate information in regards to addiction and addiction treatment, which means we only reference the most credible sources available.
These include peer-reviewed journals, government entities and academic institutions, and leaders in addiction healthcare and advocacy. Learn more about how we safeguard our content by viewing our editorial policy.
- National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) – Substance Use While Pregnant and Breastfeeding