The use of opioids among women of childbearing age is an increasing problem throughout the world.
If you’re addicted to opioids and you get pregnant or are planning to do so in the near future, see a doctor as soon as possible to talk through your options. While the effects of opioids on pregnancy can be serious, the earlier the problem is corrected through a MAT program, the better chance you’ll have of avoiding complications.
Potential Complications of Opioid Use Disorder During Pregnancy
The most obvious and immediate negative consequence that can result from opioid use disorder during pregnancy is a lack of prenatal care. About 75 percent of all pregnant heroin addicts never seek prenatal care, and many fail to take any of the steps typically needed to ensure a healthy pregnancy and birth.
People who take heroin or other opioids are much more likely to abuse other harmful substances such as alcohol and tobacco. They are also more likely to have poor nutrition, and heroin addicts, particularly those who inject, are more likely to transmit blood-borne illnesses to their unborn baby.
Health risks for a baby associated with opioid use disorder during pregnancy include the following:
- Low birth weight
- Post-birth behavioral problems
- Mental or physical developmental delays
- Learning disabilities
- Neonatal abstinence syndrome (see below)
Dangers of Opioid Withdrawal During Pregnancy
When your are struggling with opioid use disorder during pregnancy you may start to withdrawal, which can have serious effects on an unborn child. The effects that typically go along with opioid withdrawal, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, agitation, aches and insomnia, tend to affect the baby as much as the mother. In severe cases, this can lead to miscarriage, premature labor, fetal distress or stillbirth.
Recommended Treatment Methods
For women who become pregnant while still addicted to opioids, the best treatment method is to use methadone maintenance or buprenorphine treatment. This way, both mother and baby can recover in the healthiest, most stable manner, promoting the best chance of post-birth health.
PLESE FIND LISTED BELOW OUR SPECIALIZED SERVICES FOR PREGNANT WOMEN
- Pregnant women are considered a special population because of potential harm to the fetus.
- Priority admission is granted to pregnant women with opioid use disorder (OUD).
- The Adelson Clinic offers both methadone and buprenorphine medication assisted treatment for pregnant women.
- Medical assessment and counseling services will be provided.
- Referral for prenatal care, parenting education and postnatal support.
- If a pregnant woman will not/cannot access prenatal care due to resistance, financial hardship, or other reasons, the medical staff will provide her with basic information on maternal care, physical care and dietary care.
THE ADELSON CLINIC WILL PROVIDE COUNSELING OR MAKE ACCOMMODATIONS FOR SERVICES REGARDING
- Domestic violence and safety issues
- Physical and sexual abuse
- Women’s health (general issues)
- Reproductive health issues