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Detoxing for Two: Detoxing While Pregnant

November 29, 2019

Research shows that addiction to substances such as alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs can have severe consequences during pregnancy. It can cause dangerous effects to both expectant mothers and their unborn children. Many substances pass through the placenta and reach the bloodstream of the fetus. This flow results in babies undergoing withdrawal after birth. Expectant mothers that abuse drugs can also have stillbirths.

About 6% of pregnant women in the U.S. have a substance use disorder. Their infants are susceptible to neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS). NAS is a condition where the baby undergoes withdrawal after birth. The severity and type of the infant’s symptoms depend on the length of drug abuse, its frequency, and the drug the mother abused. Other factors, such as how the mother’s body metabolizes the substance abused and whether the mother gives birth prematurely, may also determine the symptoms. The mother is also likely to feel the effects of dependence.

Expectant mothers are often open to detox from drugs. This willingness results from various factors. The pregnant woman may be under pressure from those around her to quit drugs, or she may want to give birth to a healthy baby. They may have concerns about the safety of the detox to them and their fetus. You can detox without significant complications.

Addiction Recovery and Pregnancy

Pregnant women with an addiction often find themselves with difficult decisions to make. They want to give birth to healthy babies. However, they need to quit their drug abuse to increase the chances of these desires happening. Many women wonder whether detoxification is harmful. They must make the right decisions to have a successful pregnancy.

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Many substances that the mother abuses reach the bloodstream of the fetus. They can lead to physical and neurological disorders, damage, and stillbirth. The exchange may also make the fetus have severe withdrawal symptoms upon birth.

Some women undergo detoxification before their pregnancy. It is advisable to detox a year before you become pregnant. However, others do it during their pregnancy. Many people have doubts about detoxing while pregnant. They assume that it is impossible or too dangerous. However, you can detox safely while expectant. It is difficult, but if you do it correctly, you can have a safe, healthy, and sober pregnancy.

Dangers of Pregnancy and Substance Abuse

Addiction during pregnancy can have severe effects on expectant women and their fetuses. Studies show that drug abuse increases the woman’s likelihood of having a stillbirth. Pregnant women should recognize that what they drink, smoke, or eat reaches the fetus and affects the baby’s growth. They have to worry about illicit substances and prescription medications they abuse. The drugs they misuse can have varying consequences.

  • Marijuana Use During Pregnancy Can Cause Impaired Fetal Growth, increased chances of a miscarriage, and a preterm baby. The babies may also have low birth weight, learning problems, and developmental delays.


  • Cocaine Abuse Can Lead to Contractions of the Uterus resulting in premature labor or bleeding complications. The baby may also have growth retardation, congenital disabilities, and delivered prematurely or not alive.


  • Amphetamines Increase the Chances of Having a Stillbirth, placental problems, and babies with heart defects. You can buy amphetamines in the streets. Its main ingredient is in OTC diet pills.


  • Narcotics Like Heroin Can Cause Premature Labor, growth problems, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The babies may also develop a fatal withdrawal syndrome for narcotics after birth.


  • Tranquilizers Like Valium Can Cause Congenital Disabilities. Babies born to mothers who misuse them may develop some withdrawal symptoms after labor.


  • Alcohol Drinking During Pregnancy Is Not Safe. The CDC recommends that you should not drink any amount at any stage of the pregnancy. Alcohol use disorder, while pregnant, leads to stillbirth, a miscarriage, and many lifelong intellectual and physical disabilities.

Risks to the Unborn Baby

Addiction is not the only thing that poses a threat to the unborn child. Unmonitored detoxification can have adverse effects on the unborn child. The fetus can react badly to the withdrawal and the medications you use. Some professionals are hesitant to guide patients through the detoxification process. They fear their liabilities over fetal outcomes. Withdrawal symptoms can be fatal to fetuses.

It would help if you detoxed through a residential treatment program to mitigate the risks associated with recovering when expectant. Ascendant New York Drug and Alcohol Detox has licensed professionals who tailor your treatment to ensure it is effective and safe. For example, they may replace your substance with a less harmful one. Some ladies take part in opioid replacement therapy. The expectant mothers replace opioids with buprenorphine or methadone.

Detox for Pregnant Women

Getting sober is a difficult but rewarding journey. However, you need to do it as both your health and that of the baby depends on it. It would be best if you overcome the threat of relapse. Many expectant mothers fall back on their path to recovery. Going back to drugs may undo all the work you did to try being sober. Experts warn that a relapse makes detoxing difficult when pregnant.

Sobriety is crucial during and after pregnancy. Many drugs reach the bloodstream of the fetus. You and the baby are at risk of developing an addiction and withdrawal symptoms when you stop using them. They may also cause the baby to be born prematurely and with many disabilities. Drug abuse may also make you have a stillbirth. Detoxing without significant complications is your best solution.

Tips for Recovered Mothers Who Want to Have a Baby

Women that want a baby need to make some adjustments. These modifications are necessary to ensure the baby develops well while in the womb. Recovering addicts should be extra vigilant as their stakes are higher.

1. Exercise and Stay in Shape for Pregnancy

Experts advise women trying to be mothers to exercise before they get pregnant. They recommend moderate-intensity workouts because they have benefits that can prepare you for this phase. You do not have to do complicated exercises. Find simple activities that you will enjoy. Workout by yourself or with a few other people. Exercises such as swimming, yoga, and walking are excellent options. Once you get pregnant, you may need a doctor to prescribe the ideal workouts.

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Exercise distracts you from the urge to use drugs. You will be busy, and you will not have time to give in to your cravings. Workouts will also make you feel you are in control. This belief will help overcome the desire to use drugs, which makes you feel vulnerable.

Research shows that workouts increase your chances of becoming pregnant. Exercising increases your fertility, which makes it easy for you to conceive. Physical activity helps people shed off extra weight. This loss helps improve the likelihood of getting pregnant.

Experts recommend that you exercise before and during pregnancy. If you do not work out before the pregnancy, you are not likely to start when you conceive. Your hormones will start raging, and your belly will start showing when you get pregnant. If you wait until your last months, your baby will have undergone a significant portion of its major development. The fetus will not reap from your exercises.

2. Good Nutrition

Pregnancy can lead to different nutritional deficiencies. Some of these inadequacies are because of your body’s need for additional minerals, vitamins, and nutrients. Being expectant may also uncover conditions you have. You may have mild forms of anemia or blood pressure. Consultations with your doctor can help you cope with these ailments.

If you are detoxing, you need a balanced diet. Addiction changes the functioning of your organs. Ingesting specific foodstuffs can help you return to your normal state. Many detox programs involve supplements and multivitamins. It would be best if you took them within the recommended limits to avoid any complications when you conceive.

Make the Following Dietary Changes

  • Replace processed white grains with whole grain pasta and bread to get adequate nutrients and fiber.
  • Consume organic foods and whole foods to avoid additives added to food.
  • Eat hormone-free meat from herbivores to reduce hormone interactions within you.
  • Reduce your intake of high-fructose corn syrup and sugar.

3. Avoid Relapse Triggers

Staying sober is difficult for many recovering addicts. You complicate the recovery process if you do not stay away from triggers. American Addiction Centers finds that about half of recovering addicts relapse. Falling back to drugs is worse among women trying to get pregnant than in other addicts. They experience severe symptoms that can be fatal to the unborn baby when they conceive.

Experts help you know your triggers. You are also likely to know the things that bring the craving to use drugs. You need to take advantage of their guidance and knowledge to avoid a relapse. Your triggers can be stress, peer pressure, social isolation, or emotions. Avoid these stimuli. Ensure you have an adequate support system to avoid going back to drugs.

4. Start the Journey to Recovery at Ascendant New York Drug and Alcohol Detox 

Detoxing before or during pregnancy is a delicate process. You must take some precautions to ensure that both you and the fetus are not in danger. Ascendant New York Drug and Alcohol Detox is the right place to recover from addiction. Outpatient and residential recovery programs last between a few days and two weeks. Residential treatment is a better option for expectant mothers because of continuous monitoring by professionals.

Ascendant New York Drug and Alcohol Detox has experts that use their expertise to ensure that the detox is safe and effective. They monitor your progress and can provide safe medications to ease your urges or withdrawal effects. Using detox medications without proper medical training can be counterproductive. It may lead to cross addiction and severe consequences to the fetus.

Many women stop using drugs when they find out they are pregnant. This decision can have severe repercussions on the health of the fetus and the mother. The best course of action is to undergo medical detox at a licensed detox facility. Ascendant New York Drug and Alcohol Detox can help you cease using drugs safely and manage withdrawal symptoms. The professionals will also guide you to avoid a relapse upon completion of your initial treatment.

Final Thoughts

Addiction during pregnancy is dangerous to the mother and also the fetus. The drugs used by the mother pass through the placenta and reach the bloodstream of the fetus. They make the baby develop severe withdrawal symptoms after birth. The baby can also be born prematurely with physical and mental disorders. The mother can also have effects like improper functioning of organs and nutritional deficiencies. These impacts affect pregnancy and can cause stillbirth.

Experts advise women desiring to give birth to detox a year before they conceive. Expectant women wishing to give birth should change their diet, exercise, and avoid a relapse before pregnancy. However, expectant mothers can also detox safely with the help of experts in a licensed detox facility. A licensed detox facility provides safe, tailored treatments in a conducive environment with experts who monitor patients and deal with withdrawal symptoms. Reach out to our licensed professionals to ensure your recovery is smooth and you deliver a healthy baby.

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