Pregnancy and Addiction
If you’re pregnant and have an addiction to opioid pain medication, heroin, alcohol, or another substance, experts at Allegheny Health Network (AHN) can help. The Perinatal Hope Program in the Pittsburgh area and the Growing Hope Program at Saint Vincent Hospital in Erie offer comprehensive recovery programs for moms-to-be who are struggling with addiction.
For more information, call (412) 578-5575 in the Pittsburgh area and (814) 452-5273 in Erie.
Pregnancy and addiction services at AHN: why choose us?
Our goal is to help you overcome addiction while ensuring a healthy pregnancy that results in a bright future for you and your child. Your successful participation in an AHN pregnancy and addiction program helps ensure that you and your baby remain together.
When you participate in a pregnancy and addiction program at AHN, you benefit from:
- The support you need to succeed: We make it easy for you to achieve your goals in this program and have a healthy pregnancy. All appointments for prenatal care and recovery treatment services may take place at the same location on the same day. Our team also goes into your community to provide these same services.
- Group prenatal care and support: Your OB-GYN exam is private, but your prenatal appointments take place in a group setting. In this CenteringPregnancy ® model, you:
- Connect with other moms-to-be with drug dependencies
- Hear experts discuss important topics, such as breast-feeding, infant safety, and family planning
- Are matched with a peer mentor who has gone through recovery and serves as a resource throughout your pregnancy
- Medication-assisted treatment: To ease drug withdrawal symptoms, you receive medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with Subutex or a referral to a methadone clinic, if needed. With proper medical supervision, these medications are safe to take during pregnancy.
- Drug and alcohol counseling: Medication-assisted treatment: To ease drug withdrawal symptoms, you receive medication-assisted treatment (MAT) with Subutex or a referral to a methadone clinic, if needed. With proper medical supervision, these medications are safe to take during pregnancy.
- Seamless transition of care: Throughout your pregnancy, we work to connect you with the resources you need to ensure continued drug-free success after your baby arrives. We make all the necessary connections to ensure that you have a smooth transition to community agencies, including drug and alcohol counseling services, medication-assisted treatment providers, primary care physicians for your continued well-being, and a pediatrician for your baby’s health.
- Access to medical experts: When needed, we connect you with specialists including high-risk pregnancy physicians, women’s behavioral health specialists, and anesthesiologists who can help with pain management.
Care for drug-dependent newborns at AHN
Any substance you take during pregnancy gets passed to your baby. As a result, some babies are born with a drug dependency. After birth, these babies may experience withdrawal symptoms, such as tremors, seizures, or difficulty breathing or feeding. This condition is known as neonatal abstinence syndrome, or NAS.
At AHN, babies born with NAS benefit from:
- Careful surveillance: We monitor your baby in the hospital for five days for signs of NAS. To ensure mother-infant bonding and promote breast-feeding success, we encourage you to stay at the hospital with your baby during this time, if possible.
- Fast treatment: If your baby shows signs of NAS, our physicians promptly start a medication regimen to ease withdrawal symptoms and slowly wean your baby from all substances. Your baby may also need intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration. With treatment, NAS symptoms typically end within five to 30 days.
- Specialized care for critically ill infants: Babies with critical medical needs receive high-level medical care at our level III neonatal intensive care units (NICU) at West Penn and Saint Vincent hospitals. Our level II NICUs at Forbes and Jefferson hospitals provide advanced care for infants with medical needs who are not critically ill. Learn more about our NICUs.
- Follow-up care: The Fresh Start Program, offered in partnership with The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh, provides your baby with three years of services. These services include well-baby exams, developmental screenings, and speech, physical, and occupational therapies.