When reflecting on being pregnant, it is not uncommon to have opposing thoughts and feelings: fear and excitement; joy and anxiety; bliss and discomfort; strength and uncertainty. This is normal. You are not alone. There are many other considerations for someone who is not only pregnant or wanting to become pregnant, but also has a substance use disorder. At Sunrise, our team is well-positioned to provide high-quality, coordinated care for this exact situation.
Life rarely goes as planned and definitely won’t always be ideal. Though different in nearly every other way, pregnancy and substance use disorders both are a testament to this statement to some degree. With substance use disorders, no one plans to have one and it’s definitely not an ideal situation. For pregnancy, oftentimes it occurs when we least expect it, and no one goes through a pregnancy completely how they envisioned the experience.
It is not ideal to become pregnant while actively using or even while still on treatment medications. What’s important, though, is that the active use of substances stops immediately once the pregnancy is discovered, and stability in treatment is achieved as soon as possible. With that and additional prenatal care, social services and other support, good outcomes for both moms and babies can be achieved.
Addiction is a chronic, relapsing and progressive disease. With the advent of medication-assisted treatment modalities for opioid use disorder in particular, a longer-term approach to disease management has become the norm. Especially given the lethal nature of the illicit opioids in our communities, access to this life-saving treatment is more important today than ever.
The majority of people in treatment for addiction are in what’s commonly referred to as their “child-bearing years.” Given that and with a more chronic disease model of care, many patients will want to add to their family while still in treatment. Fortunately, with access to both high-quality treatment services and high-quality obstetrics care, many happy and healthy new lives enter the world at Sunrise each year. Sunrise is proud to assist its patients to be the best parents and caregivers for their children!
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