Early Prenatal Care and Substance Abuse Treatment Key for Pregnant Addicted Women

Everyone knows that women shouldn’t smoke, drink alcohol or use drugs while pregnant. For some women, though, these things are harder to give up than you’d think, even when they know there’s a human being developing inside their tummy. A recent study reports good news about pregnant women who also struggle with addiction.

The study involved 49,000 pregnant women in Kaiser Permanente’s prenatal care program. Reasearchers looked at the use of multiple substances among this population including cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, methamphetamines, cocaine and heroin. Of the population, 2,073 women were enrolled in Kaiser Permanente’s prenatal substance abuse treatment program called Early Start.

The study’s findings showed that the outcomes for addicted women who received substance abuse treatment in conjunction with prenatal care were very similar to those women who did not use such substances. These positive outcomes were shown for mom and baby. The risk of complications normally attributed to substance use in pregnancy, such as low birth weight, preterm labor or delivery and stillbirth, were virtually the same in the non-addicted women and the women in the substance abuse treatment program.

This research shows that with early prenatal care and substance abuse treatment, pregnant women can have the same results as a women who doesn’t smoke, drink or use drugs in pregnancy. It also shows that addicted women who become pregnant need to reach out for help as soon as they find out about their pregnancy. While not many doctors offices have a program that includes both prenatal care and substance abuse treatment, many treatment agencies, like Crossroads for Women, will work in conjunction with a pregnant woman’s doctor, to ensure the healthiest pregnancy possible.

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From WebMD: Kick Addictions for a Healthy Pregnancy

From Newswise: Treatment for Cigarette, Alcohol & Drug Use During Pregnancy Dramatically Improves Outcomes for Mom and Baby

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