Will I lose my pregnancy if I detox? You may be wondering this, but the answer is comforting. No, this is highly unlikely. In fact, the dangers to your baby are far greater if you continue to use drugs or alcohol while you’re pregnant. Alcohol can cause a devastating condition called fetal alcohol syndrome. It’s sometimes abbreviated as FAS.
It can cause terrible birth defects in a baby exposed to alcohol in the uterus. Some of these include:
- Brain damage
- Peculiar facial features
- Learning difficulties
- Low body weight
- Problems with speech and memory
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome No one knows for sure how much alcohol it takes to cause FAS. That’s why doctors recommend that pregnant women abstain from alcohol completely. It’s the only sure way to avoid FAS for your baby. FAS is a permanent condition. If you’re abusing alcohol and are pregnant, don’t wait. Get help immediately.
Your baby’s health depends on it. A medical detox facility will give you an alcohol substitute medication that is safe for you and your baby. This medication will prevent severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms that could threaten you and your pregnancy. Over time, the medication dosage is tapered down lower and lower until it’s finally stopped. Opioids If you’ve been abusing opioids while pregnant, your baby has been getting the opioids you take, too.
These drugs readily cross the placenta and cause physical dependence in the fetus. This means that your baby will likely have opioid withdrawal symptoms shortly after birth. This syndrome usually causes a high-pitched cry, shaking, inability to sleep and feeding problems. The baby may not be able to nurse or keep any formula down. Get Help for Detox If you try to withdraw from opioids on your own without medical help, your addicted baby will withdraw in the womb, too. This is very harmful to the fetus and can threaten your pregnancy.
The best thing for you and your baby is to take either methadone or buprenorphine daily until after your baby is born. He or she will probably still have withdrawal problems, but these can be treated with medications to keep the child comfortable until he or she has withdrawn from the methadone or buprenorphine.
If you give birth to a baby with an illegal opioid found in his or her system, you could have the child taken from you. After your baby is safely delivered, you can decide then if you want to continue taking an opioid maintenance medication or not. If you do, that’s fine. Not everyone can stop. The stress of being a new mother might not be the best time to try.
All opioid maintenance medications can be tapered and discontinued at any time. You don’t have to decide right then as long as you don’t breastfeed. Treatment As a pregnant woman with a substance abuse problem, you have a double problem because you must make decisions for both you and your infant. The baby has no power.
You must make the best decision you can for both of you, and it can’t wait for long. Continued drug abuse during pregnancy can result in the following for your baby:
- Small head size
- Low birth weight
- Premature birth
- Birth defects
- Miscarriage and death
A professional detox center can help you keep your pregnancy and ensure the birth of a full-term, healthy infant. You may also want to consider a residential drug treatment program. This will give you a safe, structured environment for you to work on your substance abuse while your unborn baby grows. You will get the nutrition and medical care you both need. Some rehabs specialize in the treatment of addicted pregnant women. These facilities may offer parenting classes, stress management classes and techniques that will help you better prepare for your baby’s arrival. Some residential rehabs may offer detox services as part of their program.
Others may not and will require you to detox elsewhere first. Especially when you’re pregnant, it might be easier and less stressful to attend a facility that offers both detox and treatment. Look for a place that offers you everything you want and need. That’s the one that will likely give you and your baby the best chance for a bright future. Help to Find a Rehab If you need specialized rehab services, we can help. Our number is 833-610-1174. Call anytime for professional advice and a referral to a drug rehab that offers the services that matter to you the most.