Prescription Drug Abuse in Pregnancy

Alcohol and pregnancy and Perinatal Marijuana Use

Contributor: Crystal Karges, MS, RDN, IBCLC Special Projects Coordinator at Eating Disorder Hope/Addiction Hope

Pregnancy is a time that brings out many changes for the new mother, who is carrying the developing life within her. Whether a pregnancy was intended or not, the process of pregnancy is one that should be approached carefully, as many of the mother’s choices will directly impact her developing baby.

Once a pregnancy is discovered, a new mother should consider her current lifestyle and evaluate if any changes are necessary to help support the health of her baby and to ensure an overall successful pregnancy.

Some of the common things to evaluate pre-pregnancy and once a pregnancy is confirmed include currently eating habits and overall intake, lifestyle, and the use of any substances and drugs. Because a wide variety of prescription medications are commonly used by countless individuals, the chance that a woman is taking at least one medication prescribed by her doctor are significantly increased.

Safety of Prescription Drugs in Pregnancy

Evaluating the safety and effectiveness of these drugs is highly important during pregnancy. Because many prescription medications transfer easily to the developing baby through the placenta, medications consumed can directly impact the fetus during pregnancy.

If you have become pregnant and are currently taking medications prescribed by your doctor, be sure to review all of these medications as soon as possible. Seeking prenatal care for pregnancy upon confirming pregnancy can help ensure that you have the opportunity to discuss these important matters with your obstetric physician and/or midwife.

Medications are typically classified in terms of safety for pregnancy, and there are several prescription medications that may continue to be safe for you to take while you are pregnant.

Follow Doctor’s Recommendations

close up of pregnant woman touching her bare tummyHowever, it is important to follow the advice and recommendations of your physician in order to protect your health and that of your baby. If you have found yourself struggling with prescription drug abuse, it is absolutely essential for you to seek out help immediately for intervention and treatment.

Pregnancy is an incredibly vulnerable time, and taking precautionary steps will only keep you healthy and your baby safe during the term of your pregnancy.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

What do you think there may be an increased likelihood to misuse prescription medications during pregnancy? What are some ways a pregnant woman can help protect herself and her baby?

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions and co-occurring disorders.  These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer a discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.  We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors.  If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.  

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on October 29th, 2015
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