Health Hub logo
pregnant-5749676_1920-1

Addiction During Pregnancy

The use of tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs, or the misuse of prescription drugs by pregnant women can have severe health consequences for their baby. Recent research shows that substance use during pregnancy is linked to double—even triple—the risk of stillbirth as well as the development of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). 

Nearly 1 in 20 expecting mothers struggle with substance use disorder, and at Valley Oaks Health, we want to provide them with a path toward recovery and healthier pregnancy. We also want to prevent the following risks to infants.

Stillborn

With substance use during pregnancy, there is a greater risk a child can be stillborn. For those using tobacco, the risk is 1.8 to 2.8 times greater. For those misusing prescription pain relievers, the risk jumps up 2.2 times. For mothers using marijuana, there is a 2.3 greater risk of stillbirth. 

Neonatal abstinence syndrome

Regular use of certain substances—opioids, alcohol, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, and caffeine—can cause neonatal abstinence syndrome. Upon birth, the baby can go through withdrawal, causing lasting health problems. 

The type and severity of an infant’s withdrawal depends on the type of drugs used, how often the mother used them, and whether the infant is born full term or prematurely. 

Other risks

Other possible risks for the infant include:

  • Birth defects
  • Low birth weight
  • Premature birth
  • Small head circumference
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

Finding help

If you or someone you love is struggling with substance use disorder, judgment-free help is available. The first step is always the hardest, but at Valley Oaks Health, we will be with you until recovery is reality.

Share :

Health Hub

566-065 11.1 -- Dealing with Disappointment

Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned. When we face disappointment, a flurry of emotions can …

566-065 10.2 -- Addiction in Adolescents*

Stress, wanting an escape, peer pressure, curiosity, self-medication, trying to feel grown up—there are many …

566-065 10.1 -- Sleep Better, Snack Smarter

Sleep deprived and reaching for a sugary energy drink or high-calorie snack to get through …

566-065 11.1 -- Dealing with Disappointment

Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned. When we face disappointment, a flurry of emotions can …

566-065 10.2 -- Addiction in Adolescents*

Stress, wanting an escape, peer pressure, curiosity, self-medication, trying to feel grown up—there are many …

566-065 10.1 -- Sleep Better, Snack Smarter

Sleep deprived and reaching for a sugary energy drink or high-calorie snack to get through …

566-065 9.1 -- How Showers Help with Mental Health

It’s well-known that showers are necessary for staying clean, but they also have some powerful …