5 Benefits of drug addiction treatment for pregnant women

Addiction is a complex problem, and it asks for professional diagnosis and support to seek complete withdrawal. Many ladies are habituated and addicted to alcohol and drugs. However, once they are married, females must keep in mind that they are responsible for bringing new life into this world.

The prenatal period is a beautiful part of a woman’s life, the period when females give the best to their health to protect their child. Sadly, some women ingest drugs even during pregnancy. Alcohol and substance abuse is dangerous for both the baby and the mother in the state of pregnancy.

It can have adverse effects, such as congenital disabilities, birth issues of the child, miscarriage, or even infant death. Rehabilitation programs offer help to expecting ladies who are struggling to overcome their drug addiction. There are multiple treatment options to overcome addiction and help pregnant ladies seek withdrawal and deliver their babies safe and sound. These specialized programs support the ladies during recovery stages and assist them in their needs.

Following are a few addiction treatments that rehabilitation centers offer to ladies who are expecting

  • Medical detox programs

  • Residential treatments

  • Outpatient treatment

  • Counseling and therapy sessions

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy

Listed below are some essential procedures and benefits of a drug rehab program for a pregnant woman.

1. Medical detoxification prevents miscarriage

Substance abuse can make a person physically dependant. It is not advisable to withdraw from drugs and alcohol independently because it comes with a hoard of side effects. Therefore, If a pregnant lady tries to stop alcoholism or ingestion of medications alone, she can face life-threatening withdrawal symptoms.

Thus women should opt for medical detoxification under a specialized health care provider and ensure safety for themselves and their unborn child. A patient setting is the best for expecting women to save them from issues while traveling and minimizing the risk of miscarriage during detox. 24-hour service and medical aid is the best treatment option for pregnant women as they combat substance abuse.

In the process of detoxification, doctors may sometimes prescribe medicines when necessary and other sources of recovery to help the patient lead a drug-free life. A comprehensive therapy must follow detoxification as the cause for addiction also needs to be looked after.

2. Residential treatment takes care of post-natal needs

After completing detoxification, a specialized program provides encompassing residential treatment to the patient. Inpatient drug rehab allows the patient to stay under special care and supervision and round the clock services. Under this program, the team caters to the postnatal needs of the female. Rehabs center provides child care facilities and housing services.

3. Outpatient treatment programs help in rehabilitating working mothers

Some women are reluctant to seek drug addiction remedies as they lack time and cannot afford Inpatient treatment. Working females or those having other children cannot avail of the clock service and medical aid. At such a juncture, outpatient treatment is also a good option. Women under outpatient care can continue with their work and look after their families while seeking treatment. They are allowed to make regular visits to the rehab. To make their holidays easy, the team provides them transportation service and care for the child post-delivery. The dual diagnosis treatment centers offer a supportive and homely environment for pregnant women.

4. Counseling and therapy sessions ease-out mental stress

Overcoming addiction is arduous and requires counseling and therapy for stress management and maintaining patients’ mental well-being. Pregnant women need counseling and therapy sessions, both in the group and at the individual level. Within-group sessions, pregnant ladies are given general lectures based on strategies of parenting and stress management.

Therapy and counseling in groups encourage women and give them mental strength through peer support. The ladies gain emotional understanding and support from others going through the same issue.

5. Guides parenting skills and training

Many rehabilitation centers also offer training for ideal parenting. In the program, mothers or women who are expecting and have substance abuse problems need care and attention. The teams at the rehab share a compassionate view of upbringing children. The mothers get special training to manage a healthy household, take care of their children and family after they get back to their lives, and how essential it is to stay sober to have a healthy lifestyle. Unless they become committed to overcoming addiction, you cannot induce it externally in them. The rehab team trains women on how to strike a balance.

How does cognitive-behavioral therapy help?

Behavioral therapy enables women to develop insight into situations that lead to drug addiction. It helps to understand the thoughts and emotions that cause dysfunction and stress resulting in substance abuse. Thus, the team helps them to develop new feelings and positive emotions. Cognitive behavior therapy or CBT is helpful in the treatment of anxiety disorder and depression.

Women undergo many complications during the prenatal stage and at the time of delivery, thus requiring medical care and support. Addiction treatment for pregnant ladies is specialized to provide permanent recovery besides safe pregnancy and childbirth.

Dangers of Using Substances While Pregnant

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Using substances while one is pregnant poses several dangers, not only to the woman who is pregnant but also to the unborn child. In addition, the use of multiple substances at once can result in an even more severe adverse effect.

Substances can pass through the placenta if they are used by a pregnant woman. During pregnancy, the uterus is responsible for the growth of a new organ known as the placenta. The uterus is a hollow organ located in the pelvis that is responsible for carrying the developing baby. The placenta facilitates the transfer of oxygen and nutrients from the body of the mother to that of the developing fetus. This indicates that your unborn child will also be exposed to any substances you use while you are pregnant. 

Some of these substances, like medication, have the potential to be helpful. However, it is also possible for harmful substances to pass through. Nicotine, for instance, can pass through the placenta and reach the fetus if the mother smokes while she is pregnant. Alcohol and other drugs, such as methamphetamine, opioids, and cannabis (marijuana), all carry the risk of experiencing the same adverse effects.

Harmful Effects of Drugs and Alcohol on an Unborn Baby

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Drugs and alcohol can cause harm to unborn children by causing:

1. Stillbirth

Stillbirth is a condition in which an infant dies before or shortly after delivery; it is more common among children whose parents abused drugs or alcohol.

2. Early Birth

It is also more likely for pregnant women who use substances to give birth too soon before their child has reached their full growth potential. As they develop, unborn children are shielded from harm by the bodies of their parents. Babies who are born too soon are underweight, and they have a more difficult time growing and remaining healthy as they age.

3. Birth Defects

Babies who are exposed to harmful substances have a significantly increased risk of developing birth defects in the brain, spine, heart, and abdominal region. Abuse of alcohol can result in a cluster of birth defects known collectively as fetal alcohol syndrome disorders (FASD). Alcohol can harm a baby’s nervous system. It also has the potential to stunt the growth of an infant.

4. Dependency

The body of an infant has the potential to become dependent on the same substances as that of its parent. Following delivery, the placenta no longer serves any purpose in maintaining the baby’s connection to the mother’s body. As a direct consequence of this, the infant will experience withdrawal symptoms because it will no longer be receiving the substance. Seizures, trouble sleeping, and issues with eating are some of the symptoms that a baby might experience when going through withdrawal. They may also cry more frequently than other infants.

How Does Withdrawal Affect Pregnancy

When someone suddenly stops using certain substances, they may experience symptoms that are referred to as withdrawal. Pain, cravings, and nausea are some of the symptoms that may be experienced during withdrawal from various substances. During pregnancy, withdrawal can also bring on premature labor or cause the unborn child to experience distress. 

An opioid or alcohol withdrawal can develop into a life-threatening medical emergency. This is especially important to keep in mind for expectant mothers. Opioid withdrawal is treatable with medication in some cases. However, there is a lack of information regarding the treatments available for alcohol withdrawal during pregnancy. 

Dangers of Misuse of Opioids During Pregnancy

A person who is addicted to opioids and is pregnant is at an increased risk for several complications that could affect both themselves and their unborn child.

Abuse of opioids raises the risk of death for pregnant women, which typically occurs after the delivery of the child.

It is less likely that a pregnant person who is misusing opioids will show up to their prenatal care appointments. They may go the majority of or even the entirety of their pregnancy without visiting a healthcare provider. 

It is also more likely for the parent’s placenta to become detached from the uterus before the baby is born. This is a serious complication that puts both the expecting parent and the unborn child in danger. When someone abuses opioids, they significantly increase their likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors, such as having unsafe sex or being in the company of violent people. This presents an especially high risk for women who are pregnant.

What Addiction Treatment Is Available During Pregnancy

People who are addicted to opioids may find that certain medications are helpful. Medication for opioid use disorder (also known as MOUD) is the name of this treatment. It has the same effect on a person’s body as opioids do when they are used. A person who uses MOUD can better control their cravings without experiencing euphoria or becoming high.

A parent who is pregnant and struggling with addiction can benefit from MOUD because it stabilizes their moods. This indicates that they no longer spend their time searching for opioids or using them. Instead, the parent is free to concentrate on other activities, such as attending prenatal visits, maintaining a healthy diet, and attending addiction therapy. Additionally, MOUD contributes to a healthier pregnancy for the parent as well as the fetus.

Types of Treatment Do Pregnant People Need if They Have Substance Use Disorder

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1. Medical Support

Prenatal care refers to the medical attention that is provided to a pregnant woman before the delivery of her baby. During their pregnancy, the individual will visit their primary care physician on multiple occasions. The health of the parent, as well as the health of their unborn child, is monitored by the provider. They provide emotional support and assistance to the parent as they get ready for the birth. 

When they are pregnant, some people who are abusing substances will try to avoid or delay receiving prenatal care. Those women who do receive prenatal care are eligible for a variety of additional health support services. They also have more positive experiences during childbirth. 

As was just mentioned, MOUD is the treatment of choice for pregnant women who are struggling with opioid use disorder. These medications are useful in assisting in the prevention of withdrawal symptoms. 

2. Behavioral Therapy

To effectively treat substance use disorder, counseling, and talk therapy play an essential part. When pregnant, a woman needs support for both her physical and mental health to maintain optimal wellness. These requirements can be met through the process of counseling and therapy. Self-care skills are discussed in some of the therapy sessions. Others investigate the role that addiction plays in the life of an individual.

Some addictions can be treated with medication, but they tend to be most successful when combined with psychotherapy or counseling. The level of commitment required for inpatient and residential treatment is high. They could last for several months and cover a wide range of life concerns. Effectiveness can also be achieved with outpatient treatment programs. They are typically more affordable, and they can accommodate a person’s busy schedule.