Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it's stressful, too -- even in ideal circumstances. It can be especially difficult for women who are expecting a baby while managing a chronic condition like opioid use disorder (OUD). It's a situation in which an increasing number of women find themselves.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that the number of women with OUD at delivery quadrupled between 1999 and 2014. Babies born to mothers who were using opioids, even ones a doctor prescribes, are at risk for certain conditions and serious complications. It's more important than ever for us to support and empower pregnant women who are doing the work to get treatment for their OUD.
Societal Norms Around Pregnancy
Pregnant women may sometimes feel pressure to be glowing reflections of the idealized stereotypes of pregnancy portrayed in magazines and on social media. But life is often not like that. Many women face struggles when they're expecting, including OUD, and they shouldn't feel ashamed or discouraged to admit what they're going through, especially if they're taking positive steps toward better outcomes for themselves and their babies.
If you're pregnant and seeking treatment for OUD, we understand that it's taken tremendous courage to start on your recovery journey and that it takes dedication to continue on that journey. The work you're doing is immensely important and selfless. At Confidant, we feel fortunate to be part of your care team, and we recognize the positive choices you're making for yourself and your family.
Unfortunately, our perceptions aren't universal. Not everyone else will see the effort and the time you've dedicated to caring for yourself and your baby. Not everyone will understand the challenges that you face when managing your OUD during pregnancy
We get it, though. And we are here to help you and your baby through all the ups-and-downs of your journey, including dealing with social pressures and stigma.