The rising use of opiates in the United States has posed a problem for women who are pregnant as well. The number of pregnant women using heroin has gone upward which can have serious complications for both mother and baby. Treatments for the condition of pregnancy along with heroin use are challenging but worth considering for the health of everyone involved.

Effects of Heroin Use in Pregnancy

Complications for children whose mothers use heroin are inevitable, whether or not the mother stops using. Withdrawal symptoms can impact the unborn child and continued use may result in giving birth to an infant with addiction. Health and lifestyle issues may also have an adverse effect on the unborn child. If an unborn child is exposed to heroin in utero, it can greatly affect development and the child may experience Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome. The symptoms can include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Seizures
  • Sweating
  • Sleep disturbances

There are many issues the child may face in the short and long term depending on the situation. Other complications of opiate addiction and pregnancy include Hepatitis and HIV, which may be passed onto the infant prior to birth.

Facing Difficult Choices

Expectant mothers with addiction to opiates face a difficult choice. The incentive of having a child be born healthy may tilt the scales in favor of getting clean but the issue remains of how to further protect the child and mother from harm.  Treatment for heroin addiction is the first step in supporting a mother who is pregnant with a baby.

Treatment Options

Professional treatment is always best for dependency on drugs but pregnancy further complicates the issue. Treatment centers may have special programs tailored to pregnant women with medically supervised detox as a critical component to lower the risk to baby. Appropriate medication may be administered to alleviate withdrawal, provide hydration and nutrition, and further monitor the baby and mother’s progress for complications. Separating the mother from the environment where she self-medicated may be the first stage of the process for getting her the help she, and the baby, desperately need. A caring, supportive environment, may be all she needs to get on the track to being clean and healthy. Counseling can greatly increase the positive outcomes as well.

If you are a woman who is facing unexpected circumstances and needs help, you are not alone. Many women face challenging circumstances when it comes to seeking help for addiction. If you are needing help and are not sure where to go, call us. Cypress Lakes will help direct you towards the best place to receive support and help in an environment where change is possible at our treatment center 866-217-2636