For many expectant mothers, pregnancy is a beautiful thing. It’s carrying your future child for nine months, nurturing him or her, sharing food, and feeling the baby grow with each passing day. Pregnancy and giving birth are the miracles of life; however, for many women in the US, it can cause anxiety, depression, and fear if they’re addicted to drugs or alcohol and need drug rehab for pregnant mothers.

When a woman becomes pregnant, it’s no surprise that she begins to be more careful and considerate with the things she eats and puts in her body. Making these types of changes has the ability to make expectant mothers more aware of life choices that may have been unhealthy in the past. This is why it is not completely uncommon for expectant mothers to seek drug or alcohol rehab for pregnant women.

Let’s Look at the Statistics

In 2013, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed pregnant women. One out of 33 women admitted to binge drinking within the past 30 days of their pregnancy. The same study also showed that binge drinking was most common in pregnant women between the ages of 35-44 years old and who were college-educated and unmarried.

The National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (NOAFS) also discovered that the leading cause of congenital disabilities in infants in the US is alcohol abuse. Surprisingly, the study also proved that alcohol abuse ranks higher than other illicit substances and drugs when it comes to substances causing negative effects to a fetus.

What are the Dangers of Pregnancy and Substance Abuse?

While it’s definitely agreed upon that drug and alcohol use during pregnancy causes damage to the fetus and birth complications, a few factors come into play to determine the extent of the damage. Questions such as how long the mother has been abusing substances, their tolerance level, and what kind of substances they are using are all questions that must be considered when entering drug or alcohol rehab for pregnant women and looking at the specific dangers and risks involved. Different types of substances create different problems and risks when combined with pregnancy.

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drug rehab for pregnant mothers

Some of the common issues that present include:

  • Stillbirth
  • Miscarriage
  • Low birth weight
  • Premature birth
  • Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Other congenital disabilities

Preventing these issues is vital in saving the mother and child’s life, making drug rehab for pregnant women a vital service at rehab centers.

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Other Risks Associated with Substance Abuse and Pregnancy

woman considering alcohol rehab for pregnant women

Alcohol and drugs are known as teratogens. This term describes the factors that can impact a growing embryo. Using teratogenic substances like drugs and alcohol in the first trimester specifically is damaging. In addition to serious congenital disabilities, dangerous labor scenarios, or death, there are many other risks involved that include:

  • Behavioral problems later in life
  • Heart problems such as septal defects, more commonly known as a hole in the heart
  • Risk of the infant being exposed to HIV or hepatitis C
  • Respiratory disease
  • Learning disabilities later in life