It is an unfortunate fact that a large number of pregnant women abuse drugs or alcohol during their pregnancy. Although there are different reasons for this the outcome is generally the same. That is why there are rehab centers that cater specifically to pregnant women and their offspring.
Why Drug Abuse and Pregnancy
Drug abuse and pregnancy are a dangerous combination. A woman’s body undergoes drastic changes while she is pregnant, these changes sometimes cause other illnesses such as:
expression of underlying mental disorders,
high stress due to unwanted pregnancy, and
many other hormone related issues.
These issues can sometimes cause a woman to decide to start to drink, continue to drink, or use drugs while she is pregnant. This is unfortunately harmful to both mother and child.
What Happens when the Mother Abuses Drugs or Alcohol During Pregnancy?
Depending on the drug, there are a variety of ways that the body responds to drugs and alcohol during pregnancy. Not many of these ways are positive. A few things that can happen while someone is pregnant and using drugs are:
fetal alcohol syndrome,
low birth weight,
loss of motor development,
cognitive impairment, and
childhood drug addiction.
All of these are consequences that happen when a person uses drugs while pregnant.
Needs of Pregnant Women During Rehab
A pregnant woman’s needs vary while in rehab.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, pregnant women have specific needs while they are in rehab. For the most part the drugs that doctors ordinarily give to patients for help with withdrawal symptoms do not work with pregnant women. They affect the baby too much. Many of these drugs are too harsh for a prenatal environment.
Although there are some things that might help with a pregnant woman’s withdrawal symptoms, the majority of the symptoms are untreatable. Most rehabs try to keep the pregnant woman as comfortable as possible until she delivers. They then deal with any physical issues in the both mother and the baby after the baby is born.
Each case is different. The way that a rehab will treat a pregnant woman depends on:
what she is taking,
how far along in the pregnancy she is,
how much she takes on a regular basis,
what her support structure is,
what her plans are for after the baby is born, and
who likely the baby is affected by the drugs she’s taken.
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