Addiction or pregnancy by themselves are among the most challenging things a person can face in their lifetime. So facing addiction while you’re pregnant is a lot for any one person to handle. If you or someone you love is pregnant and addicted, rest assured that they aren’t the first person ever to face this scenario and they won’t be the last. There is a lot of help available for addicted, expectant mothers thankfully and there is a way through what can seem like an insurmountable crisis. The key is getting the information you need and being persistent in advocating for yourself or the addicted, expectant mom you want to help.
Here are the top 5 things you should do if you are pregnant and addicted:
1. Talk about it:
The first and most important step for any addicted, pregnant woman is to talk about their addiction. Even though pregnancy can often be a time of shame or fear, talking openly with a doctor or counselor can help the mother connect to crucial support services that will increase her chances of having a healthy pregnancy and baby. People can help you, but only if they know you need help and exactly what’s going on. It’s tough, but it’s important to try and pocket any feelings of shame you have and speak your truth. You and your baby deserve it.
2. Reach out for professional help:
Professional help from an addiction specialist can provide vital guidance on how best to manage your pregnancy and addiction together. It’s also beneficial to reach out to other people who are in the same situation as you are so you can access social support networks and share experiences with others who understand what you’re going through. Having a social worker or counselor or someone else on your side means you’re no longer alone. Together, you can make a lot more happen than you could ever hope to accomplish alone. So don’t wait to ask for help!
3. Make a plan:
Working with a professional, create a comprehensive plan for pregnancy and addiction. This plan should include lifestyle changes such as quitting any drug use, finding healthy activities to replace drugs, attending addiction support groups and instituting healthier eating and sleeping habits. There are a lot of things you can do to improve your chances of having a healthier baby and avoid complications. Make sure you know what those things are and how you’re going to do them. Again, this is why it’s so useful to have a case worker or other professional in your corner. They have experience in making plans for people in exactly this situation.
4. Understand the risks:
A pregnant woman who is addicted to drugs or alcohol needs to understand the risks posed by their addiction. These can range from pregnancy-induced hypertension and preterm birth to congenital disabilities in the baby. It’s important to recognize these risks so you can make informed decisions that will improve both your pregnancy outcomes and overall health. It can be scary facing the facts here, but not facing them won’t make them go away. The fact you are reading this article means you want to do they right thing, so follow through with that and learn about the risks to your pregnancy while addicted and what you can do about them.
5. Seek out safe housing:
Addiction often means isolating yourself from family, friends and resources that could help you manage your pregnancy better. It’s important to seek out safe housing, so you can have access to services like healthy meals and medical care. This is key. Everyone needs a safe place to live, but it’s extra important if you’re about to bring a new life into the world. If you’re battling addiction at the same time, then it’s even more critical that you have a safe place to lay your head at night. There are people who will help you, you just need to ask.
Finding Help when You Are Addicted and Pregnant
A pregnant woman who is addicted to drugs or alcohol can get the help they need to have a successful pregnancy and take control of their addiction. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you are facing pregnancy and addiction. With the right guidance and care, it’s possible to manage both pregnancy and addiction together. You can talk to JourneyPure at the River for information on addiction treatment by calling: (615) 410-9260
If you or someone you love is struggling with pregnancy and addiction, there are support networks available that provide resources such as counseling, safe housing options, educational programs, legal assistance, vocational programs and more. In addition, organizations like the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) offer pregnancy and addiction assistance programs. If you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance from these or other organizations that provide pregnancy and addiction support services.