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Detox for Pregnant Women: Treatment Options for Addiction

While pregnancy is a time of joy and excitement for many women, it can also be a time of stress and struggle for others—particularly if they’re dealing with addiction. If you’re a pregnant woman who’s struggling to detox from drugs or alcohol, this article is for you.

Below, we’ll talk about the importance of detoxification for pregnant women, including the risks and possible solutions, so you can do what’s best for you and your baby.

Dangers of Alcohol or Drug Abuse During Pregnancy

The heartbreaking truth is that there are many risks associated with alcohol or drug abuse during pregnancy. They can pass through the placental barrier, which can have an impact on the growth of the fetus. As just one example, drinking alcohol while pregnant can lead to Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), which can cause various physical, behavioral, and learning difficulties. Likewise, drug abuse––especially opioids, cocaine, and methamphetamines––can lead to significant birth defects, neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS), and long-term developmental problems.

Drug and alcohol use can also result in complications like miscarriage, stillbirth, and preterm labor. That’s why it’s so important for pregnant women dealing with substance abuse to reach out for help as soon as they can. 

What are the Effects of Alcohol and Drug Use During Pregnancy?

Even moderate drinking can cause learning difficulties, poor memory, and issues with attention and coordination in your child. Specifically, FASD can cause facial abnormalities, growth deficiencies, and issues with the heart, kidneys, and bones, as well as lifelong neurodevelopmental challenges. Getting help early can make a difference in managing symptoms, but the best way to prevent them is by staying away from the things that can trigger them. Avoiding alcohol is the best option for pregnant women to ensure their baby’s health and development. 

It’s important to tackle drug abuse during pregnancy as soon as possible to lower the chances of NAS. Children who are exposed to drugs in utero often experience long-term developmental and behavioral issues. Even using marijuana during pregnancy can have serious consequences. Symptoms of NAS can include tremors, irritability, difficulty with feeding, and respiratory issues. These symptoms often result in extended hospital stays and supportive care. 

How to Identify Substance Abuse Symptoms in Pregnant Women

It can be tricky to identify substance abuse in a loved one during pregnancy since the symptoms often resemble common pregnancy complaints such as nausea, fatigue, and mood swings. However, there are certain signs that may indicate a potential issue. These include:

  • Not taking care of oneself
  • Acting unpredictably or having mood swings
  • Experiencing sudden weight changes
  • Not maintaining good hygiene
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Frequently missing work or social activities without giving a clear reason

Healthcare providers have an important job when it comes to screening for substance abuse and making sure people get the help they need. Identifying and intervening early is crucial for improving outcomes for both the mother and baby. During routine prenatal visits, your healthcare provider should ask about substance use in a way that makes you feel comfortable and respected. This helps create an open and honest environment where you can freely share information.

How to Quit Substance Use While Pregnant

Can you detox while pregnant? Yes. Stopping substance use while pregnant can be tough, but it’s definitely doable with the right support. Before you try to stop, it’s important to reach out to a healthcare professional or treatment center for advice. Suddenly quitting can be risky for both you and your baby. 

A treatment center like Her Harbor can create a personalized plan that involves slowly reducing the substance, using medication to assist with treatment, and providing counseling. The support of family, friends, and support groups is key in helping pregnant women stay committed to their recovery journey.

Gradual tapering, with the guidance of a professional, can help minimize withdrawal symptoms and avoid any potential complications. For example, in cases of opioid addiction, medication-assisted treatment (MAT) using methadone or buprenorphine can stabilize the mother and reduce the risk of relapse. 

Counseling and behavioral therapies can address the psychological aspects of pregnant addiction, providing coping strategies and emotional support. Make sure your home environment is supportive and get your loved ones involved in your recovery. This can increase your chances of success.

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At Her Harbor, we offer rehab and addiction treatment exclusively for women. Please reach out today to learn more about how we can support you or your loved one on the path to healing and recovery.

Comparing Inpatient and Outpatient Drug Rehab for Pregnant Women

When it comes to deciding between inpatient and outpatient rehab for pregnant women, it depends on how serious the addiction is and what the mother specifically requires.

Inpatient detox for pregnant women provides a well-organized setting with round-the-clock medical attention, which is perfect for women dealing with severe addictions or those at a higher risk of relapse. A typical program offers a range of services, such as medical care, behavioral therapy, and holistic treatments like yoga and nutrition counseling.

Outpatient rehab lets you stay at home and keep some sense of normalcy in your daily life while going to therapy sessions regularly. This option is a good fit for women who have less severe addictions or have strong support systems in place at home. 

Outpatient programs provide more flexibility and are less disruptive, but they do require a strong commitment and self-discipline to prevent relapse. Outpatient rehab can help you detox while pregnant if have a solid support system, but it does require personal dedication to make sure recovery goes smoothly.

Locating Addiction Treatment Centers for Pregnant Women

Finding the right addiction treatment center for pregnant women depends on several factors. It’s crucial to find facilities that have programs specifically designed for pregnant women, focusing on both addiction and prenatal care. Make sure that the center you choose is accredited, so you can trust that you’ll receive reliable treatment. Prioritize comprehensive care that includes medical detox for pregnant women, behavioral therapy, prenatal care, and postnatal support. This way, you can fully address both addiction and the health needs of yourself and the baby. You can find helpful treatment centers by reaching out to organizations like the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and your local health departments. Or, you can reach out to Her Harbor Recovery, which provides top-tier, trauma-informed care for women.

Detox and addiction treatment during pregnancy are challenging but essential steps towards ensuring the health and well-being of both mother and child. With the right support, comprehensive care, and a compassionate approach, pregnant women can overcome substance abuse and look forward to a healthier future for themselves and their babies. 

Seeking help early, utilizing available resources, and committing to recovery can make a significant difference in the lives of pregnant women struggling with addiction. The journey may be difficult, but the rewards of a healthy pregnancy and a brighter future for both mother and child are well worth the effort.

How to Get Help

If you or someone you know is seeking trauma-informed care for mental health and substance abuse, Her Harbor provides a compassionate and comprehensive approach to recovery. Our dedicated team is trained in trauma-informed practices, offering a range of services from residential treatment to outpatient support. Contact Her Harbor today to learn more about how we can support you or your loved one on the path to healing and recovery. Together, we can navigate trauma and substance abuse with care, understanding, and hope.