Are you pregnant, or looking forward to becoming a mother?
Are you also trying to detox from marijuana, especially when you are pregnant?
Here are some tips to help you go through the process safely.
You have probably tried marijuana since it is everywhere. Worse still, you may have tried it while you were pregnant, and you are not proud of yourself for that. The increasing legalization of the substance has not made things any better, and you may be wondering what to do to detox from the drug while taking care of your unborn baby.
Extensive research on the effects of alcohol and drugs on infants is well documented, and at this point, you know very well that using drugs during pregnancy is risky for your health and your child. For instance, you know very well that women using drugs during their pregnancy have greater risks of giving birth to children that have major birth defects, lifelong challenges due to fetal exposure, as well as developing NAS (Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome).
However, as a mother, you may have legitimate concerns if you are addicted to marijuana. Statistics show this number is very high – according to the U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health, almost 5.4 percent of pregnant women were drug abusers in 2013. To put this in perspective, almost one in ten pregnant women abused marijuana during their pregnancy.
The majority of these women tend to use legal drugs as well, and this can have dire consequences for the baby. It is more likely that children exposed to these drugs while in the womb is even higher than statistics will tell you. This is because many women fear getting stigmatized and losing their child to social services.
The roles of prevention
Obstetric care during pregnancy is very essential for pregnant women, and a major part of this is screenings for substance abuse – it should be conducted with the full cooperation of the woman.
Before pregnancy begins, and throughout the first trimester, the woman needs to answer questions regarding their use of drugs and alcohol, and these drugs even include prescription drugs and medication for non-medical reasons. As long as a nonjudgmental and caring approach is maintained in the health care system, the women will be encouraged to reveal this information – since they are assured it remains confidential.
Treatment of substance abuse in pregnant women.
There is good news at the end of it all. Many women are successful in quitting drugs during their pregnancy – unfortunately, from six to twelve months postpartum, they begin abusing drugs again. Maternal releases tend to occur at times when the baby has constant needs, and their overall development depends on maternal bonding efforts.
Therefore, treating substance abuse and marijuana withdrawal in a pregnant woman requires behavioral changes, including contingency management, cognitive behavioral therapy, and motivational interviewing.
Helping a pregnant addict off marijuana is difficult enough and costly as well, especially because scientific research is not sufficient to support the methods that are in use. Even though it is possible to detox safely during pregnancy, the process must be done under the supervision of a medical team – all who have specific skills that can help both the child and the mother. Many physicians will tend to recommend a taper of medication that is less harmful and pair this with an addiction treatment program.
There is a major problem through – extensive treatments that stop the use of marijuana during pregnancy are lacking in medical research. Current recommendations you might go through include screening on a routine basis so that your marijuana use is identified early enough and you can be encouraged to abstain.
The safest way to detox though is through medical detox processes. They are more comprehensive in their scope, use certain medications that help in reducing side effects and cravings for the drug, and they also have 24-hour supervision by medical staff. In fact, using medication should also be monitored very closely if you are pregnant, as some drugs might cause problems for you and your baby if they are not administered under proper care and supervision.
The other reason for close supervision is that the fetus is particularly affected by withdrawal symptoms even more than the mother – and the baby might even die. It, therefore, follows that if you are pregnant and physically dependent on a substance such as marijuana, you need a medically supervised detox – this is the safest method for both you and the unborn child.
Just as with withdrawal from any other substance, marijuana withdrawal can bring with it serious consequences for your child. Not only is the drug you use affecting the detox process, but also the method you consume it in – for marijuana, this includes smoking, eating and inhaling. This is also affected by the length of time you spent abusing the drug, any genetic and biological predispositions to certain illnesses, and environmental factors. The longer you use the drug, the more severe your withdrawal symptoms will be.
It may be tempting to immediately stop using marijuana when you are pregnant – however, this sudden stop can be very distressing to the fetus as well as you. Instead, going for a medical detox program can help you discontinue using marijuana safely, and also manage any withdrawal symptoms as they come.
Medication is also important, though it depends won wheat medication it is (it must not cause harm to the baby). A medical professional can assist you to weigh your possible options, and other adjunct medication may be needed as you withdraw – such as antidepressants. The medical professional will also choose one that has the least side effects.
After your baby is born, the emotional strain of labor, new motherhood, and postpartum pain can get to you, so the process of detox can be made easier by transitioning to a substance abuse treatment facility – either on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Special programs will cater to your needs, in addition to addressing any potential triggers of relapse, and ensuring you continue to stay healthy in spite of how you feel.
Even though we live in a time when marijuana is increasing in popularity, you still need to take care of your health and that of your unborn child. In case you are pregnant or nursing and you are struggling with addiction to marijuana, make sure you get medical help to detox and quit the substance.