A developing fetus is entirely dependent on its mother for everything that sustains its life. This includes oxygen and nutrients that are delivered via the placenta and umbilical cord. Everything a mother consumes, good or bad, will find its way to the fetus and can affect the child after it is born and even into adulthood if drugs, tobacco, or alcohol are consumed in pregnancy.
Pregnancy should be a happy time in a woman's life, but for mothers-to-be who struggle with substance addiction, finding help is critical both for their own health and that of their unborn child. This article discusses what mothers can do to give their children the best start in life free from drugs and addresses how to access resources to get clean and live a healthier life.
Risks of Substance Abuse in Pregnancy
Women who smoke, drink, or take illicit drugs are at high risk for complications and even death for themselves and their child. Here are some of the ways that different substances can affect a woman and a fetus:
Tobacco: Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of low birth weight, premature delivery, stillbirth, and underdeveloped lungs in newborns. For women, it can contribute to pregnancy complications such preeclampsia and gestational hypertension.
Alcohol: Drinking during pregnancy is hazardous because it can contribute to physical and cognitive abnormalities including fetal alcohol syndrome (FASD). It can also trigger problems early in pregnancy, even before a woman knows she is pregnant.
Drugs: Illicit use of prescription drugs or street drugs can cause several complications including congenital disabilities and death to a mother as well as the miscarriage or stillbirth of a baby. Babies born to mothers who use highly addictive substances like heroin or opiates may be born addicted to the drug and experience protracted symptoms of withdrawal which can be permanently disabling or even lethal if not properly treated.
Mental disorders often co-occur with drug addicts, so it is crucial for addiction care providers to understand how to treat both simultaneously. Pregnant women should be screened for both psychiatric and addictive issues. There is limited research, but studies indicate that pregnant women are more vulnerable to mental disturbances that can lead to or exacerbate substance addiction. These can include but are not limited to depression, post-partum depression, panic disorders, and eating disorders.
Are you or any of your loved ones a pregnant woman who is looking for a good Ohio drug rehab program? Are you trying to become pregnant but worried about the adverse effects of substances on a developing baby? It is still possible to safely detox during pregnancy with proper medical supervision and support. The Recovery Village of Columbus is well-equipped to help pregnant women live drug-free lives and care for themselves and their children in the best way possible.
At Recovery Village, the health of both you and your unborn child are our top priority. While the detox process can be uncomfortable, we are with you every step of the way to ensure your security and comfort while you heal from addiction. Contact us today to learn about admission and start your recovery journey.