Taking Opioids During Pregnancy

How Opioids Affect Your Pregnancy and Unborn Baby

Creating a new life is a thing of beauty. The effort and patience that goes into the process of pregnancy is no small feat, and for good reason. Bringing a life into this world is a miraculous occasion and the start of an amazing journey.

Starting the process with a healthy mind, body and spirit ensures that the baby entering into this world is prepared to begin its life in a wholesome state of being. That is why it is so important to acknowledge the fact that whatever you ingest during your pregnancy is not only impacting your health, but also the health of your unborn child.

Ask any doctor and they will tell you that specified diets, vitamin supplements, physical activities and decreased levels of stress are all intricate components to a healthy pregnancy. The food you eat during your pregnancy and the activities you engage in will directly impact your child’s health while in the womb, and when he or she eventually enters into this world.

Imagine walking into a birthing unit at a local hospital and taking a newborn’s bottle and placing dangerous drugs into the formula, or injecting dangerous substances into their tiny veins as they lay in their crib helpless to what is going on around them. This thought may seem excessive, but making the decision to ingest opioids during pregnancy is nothing short of these extreme examples.

Is Taking Opioids During Pregnancy Dangerous?

In one word: Yes. Taking opioids during pregnancy is a dangerous proposition for any pregnant mother. Doing so outside of medical necessity is like playing Russian roulette with your unborn child. This is because opioids can cross the placenta and enter the baby’s central nervous system, causing the child to experience a number of serious medical complications.

Some of the more common consequences of opioid abuse during pregnancy are low birth weight, miscarriage, preterm labor and premature birth. Even under medical supervision, taking opioids during pregnancy needs to be closely monitored and taken at minimal dosage.

Living with an undisclosed opioid addiction during pregnancy is nothing short of child abuse and is seen as such by both the legal system and department of children and family services.

The Effects of Prescription Pain Medication While Pregnant

It needs to be understood that being in the position where your doctor has prescribed you prescription pain medication due to a real medical issue is not a free pass. Any prescription pain medication taken during pregnancy has to be closely monitored and taken in minimal quantities – and for as short amount of time as possible.

This is because abusing opioids or prescription pain medications can seriously impact the developing fetus both during pregnancy and after birth.

Some of these identified issues include:

  • Neonatal abstinence syndrome – These are withdrawal symptoms experienced by the newborn and can include fever, irritability, vomiting, seizures, diarrhea and poor feeding habits.
  • Gastroschisis – This is a birth defect of a developing baby’s abdomen where the intestines stick outside of the body through a hole beside the belly button.
  • Congenital heart defects – Problems with the structure of the baby’s heart.

While the damage associated with opioid dependence during pregnancy is all too real, quitting cold turkey is also not recommended if you find out you are pregnant and you know you are struggling with prescription pain addiction.

Doing so could result in placental abruption, where the placenta separates from the wall of the uterus before birth. This can cause sever bleeding and put both the you and your unborn child’s life at risk.

If you find out that you are pregnant and know you are struggling with an opioid addiction, the first step is to talk to your health care provider. There are a variety of medical and therapeutic interventions available that can help you safely detox from opioids and return your body to a healthy state of homeostasis.

Laying the foundation for a healthy pregnancy and birth require you to first admit that a problem exists and then ask for the appropriate help in order to address your disease of addiction. Being a good mother begins long before the baby is born and is contingent on you living outside of your own needs and desires.

Taking the steps to confront your addiction head on is a brave decision. Just remember that you do not have to achieve sobriety on your own. Take advantage of all the treatment opportunities and resources available to you and your child!

Holistic Opioid Addiction & Rehab Treatment at Ranch Creek Recovery

Prescription pain pills have no power over you and certainly do not have to cause any harm to your unborn baby. Your new life starts the moment you declare you have complete control over your actions, health and future.

At Ranch Creek Recovery, we provide holistic detox and opioid recovery treatment that offers personalized and long-lasting care. Learn more about our life-changing, holistic opioid treatment program or contact us today to start your journey toward detox and recovery.