Pregnant Women and Alcohol
A Pregnant Alcoholic Places Her Baby at Risk
Seeing a pregnant mother drinking can be disheartening, because alcohol use during pregnancy can be dangerous.
According to the National Institutes of Health, everything a pregnant alcoholic consumes during pregnancy affects the baby.
This means that a pregnant mother drinking is essentially forcing her baby to drink alcohol as well.
Pregnant women and drinking should never go hand-in-hand, because alcohol can negatively affect the baby’s growth and development and cause lasting physical and behavioral health problems.
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Pregnant Women and Drinking Are Never Safe
The National Institutes of Health warns that no amount of drinking is safe during pregnancy.
Some women may think that it is safe to consume alcohol during a current pregnancy because it had no effect on a previous pregnancy, but each baby is different.
Experts, therefore, recommend that women avoid all wine, beer, and liquor while pregnant.
The risks of alcohol use during pregnancy are so strong, that experts actually recommend that women avoid alcohol when they are trying to conceive, as they may not realize they are pregnant during the first month or so of pregnancy.
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Pregnant Alcoholics Are at Risk of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
Drinking while pregnant is not safe in any amount, but pregnant alcoholics may have difficulty giving up alcohol. Unfortunately, a pregnant mother drinking large quantities of alcohol places her baby at risk of developing fetal alcohol syndrome. This is a serious condition in which babies are born small, and they may have trouble eating, sleeping, hearing, and seeing. As they grow older, babies born to pregnant alcoholics experience difficulties with learning and behavior. It may be challenging for them to concentrate, control their behavior, and get along with others, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Signs That a Woman is a Pregnant Alcoholic
Pregnant women drinking large quantities of alcohol may meet the criteria for an alcohol use disorder, which is the clinical term for alcoholism or an alcohol addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the signs of a pregnant alcoholic or an alcohol use disorder include strong cravings for alcohol, drinking more alcohol than intended, and being unable to cut back on drinking. Other signs that a woman may be a pregnant alcoholic are continuing to drink despite health problems, drinking even when it is physically dangerous, and giving up other activities in favor of drinking. Pregnant women drinking despite knowing the dangers to the unborn baby may have an alcohol use disorder
Withdrawal Symptoms Associated With Pregnant Women Drinking
Women who drink large quantities of alcohol during pregnancy may also experience alcohol withdrawal symptoms if they try to stop drinking or reduce their alcohol intake. These symptoms can include tremor, sleep disturbances, nightmares, agitation, anxiety, irritable mood, nausea, vomiting, memory problems, and sensitivity to light and sound. In more severe cases of alcohol withdrawal, pregnant women drinking large amounts may suffer from delusions, hallucinations, seizures, and delirious behavior. In extreme cases of withdrawal, a pregnant alcoholic may develop a condition called delirium tremens, which can be fatal. Severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms can lead to complications including elevated blood pressure, liver failure, and heart problems.
Treatment for Pregnant Women Drinking
Women who have difficulty giving up alcohol during pregnancy should seek treatment to protect their health as well as the wellbeing of their unborn babies. Given the fact that alcoholism is linked to withdrawal symptoms, treatment for pregnant women drinking may begin with a detox program, where medical staff can provide care and support to keep them as comfortable as possible as the body rids itself of alcohol. As the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration explains, detoxification for alcohol withdrawal typically occurs in a setting where patients can receive around-the-clock care, and benzodiazepines are the drug of choice for treating alcohol withdrawal.
Ongoing Treatment for a Pregnant Alcoholic
While detoxing from alcohol is important to prevent complications, a pregnant alcoholic requires ongoing behavioral treatment, because detox is just the first step in the treatment process for pregnant women and drinking. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that the specific type of behavioral treatment for alcoholism is not really important. What matters most is that you get some sort of help. Behavioral treatments like cognitive behavioral therapy can help you to find new ways to cope with stress without using alcohol. You may also benefit from attending support groups where you can share your experience with others who are also struggling with alcohol addiction.
Alcohol Addiction and Your Mental Illness
If you have developed an alcohol addiction during pregnancy, you may also have a mental health condition that requires treatment. Sometimes, substance abuse and mental illness go hand-in-hand. If this is the case, you will need to seek a treatment program that addresses both your alcohol addiction and your mental illness. A treatment center that is qualified to treat a dual diagnosis, which is the term for a co-occurring addiction and mental illness, is probably the best fit for you.
Treatment for Pregnant Women and Drinking in California
If you are a pregnant mother drinking, it is important that you seek treatment for alcohol addiction as soon as possible to prevent harm to your growing baby. If you are on the West Coast, Resurgence California provides rehab services suitable for a pregnant alcoholic. Located in Orange County, Resurgence California offers inpatient treatment in a homelike setting, surrounding by breathtaking amenities like waterfalls, beaches, and piers. We also offer outpatient services as well as detox programs. Your treatment program will be tailored to your unique needs and will involve services like counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, and group therapy. You may also be offered medications to help you through your recovery process.
Paying for Alcohol Rehab
If you are ready to take the first step toward beginning your recovery journey, you are probably wondering how you are going to cover the cost of treatment. At Resurgence, we are happy to offer a free, confidential insurance verification program. Simply give us a call or submit your insurance information through our website, and we will tell you what services your insurance plan covers and how much you can expect to pay out of pocket for your treatment. We are able to accept most PPO insurance plans, and we also accept private payment methods. Once your insurance information is submitted, our staff are happy to work with your insurance company to ensure that your services are covered.
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Beginning Treatment at Resurgence
Call Resurgence today to begin the intake process for pregnant women and drinking.
We will begin your treatment with an assessment, to determine your history of alcohol use and specific treatment needs.
We will then create an individualized treatment plan that best suits you.
Your journey will likely begin with a detox program, lasting from 3 to 7 days, during which your body clears itself of alcohol.
After that point, your body will no longer be physically dependent upon alcohol, and you can begin a behavioral treatment program to address the psychological issues that contributed to alcohol addiction.
Do not hesitate to call Resurgence; help is always waiting.