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Opioid Use During Pregnancy

An Epidemic

 

Unfortunately an opioid crisis has struck the Southeast. The demographics of people under the influence of opioids is vast. Some range from teenagers, to elderly people, to industry professionals, even pregnant women. Despite the efforts of local and state authorities, the epidemic is still underway. While abusing opioids is extremely dangerous for anyone, the risk is even more elevated for those expecting mothers and their babies.

 

Treatment Options

 

Abusing opioids during pregnancy can cause premature births and other serious neurological problems for a newborn. Thankfully, there are treatments available today for expecting mothers and their babies that actually work for peopling willing to try. Babies born to women who are taking Methadone or Buprenorphine can have short-term withdrawal symptoms instead of suffering from long-term effects. Swaddling, breastfeeding, and skin-to-skin contact can help alleviate the withdrawal symptoms and help calm your baby. Treatment with Methadone or Buprenorphine can help lower chances of overdose, give better chances for your fetus to grow normally, help prevent premature birth, and even help with cravings and unhealthy habits now and in the future.

 

On top of this kind of proactive treatment, counseling and good prenatal care can help you as a soon-to-be mother avoid relapse, ensure your baby has a healthy development and delivery, and can even help in getting you back on the right track with confidence and self-worth. There are support groups out there for women in your situation. One key thing to remember in this whole season is that you’re not alone. You’re not the only expecting mother who is going through this.

 

You’re Not Alone

 

So, what to do now? If you are an expecting mother and you don’t know where to go or who to speak with about your opioid addiction, we are here to help. As your OB-GYN, we are here to ensure the health and safety of you and your baby. We can connect you with professionals who can help you get out of the situation that you are in. When becoming a parent, it’s important to begin thinking of the new life that is coming into your care. Your efforts should be to make a life for your baby that is safe and happy. You can only do this if you are healthy yourself and if you seek help when you need it. Please don’t take opioid addiction lightly. After all, it can hurt more than just yourself.