All mothers-to-be have lots of questions and concerns; but when addiction complicates a pregnancy the answers may not be so easy to come by. There are the routine the questions such as:
- How will I know I’m in labor?
- Will it hurt?
- Will my baby know how to breastfeed?
- How do I care for a newborn?
But then there are the more complex issues that result from being addicted and pregnant:
- Is my baby’s health in danger?
- Will my baby be born addicted?
- With my baby go through withdrawal?
- And much more
At The Connection, we work through all of the above issues, and personalize each client’s individual program of recovery. For example; a first time mom will need a different level of treatment and education than a pregnant woman who has already had children. Since we only work with pregnant women and moms with young children, we are able to focus on the issues that will help to prepare our clients for childbirth, breastfeeding, infant care, and parenting.
Birthing classes are typically offered through local hospitals and birthing centers. Some classes follow a specific method, such as Lamaze or the Bradley method. Others review labor techniques from a variety of methods. At The Connection, we council each client on the different methods to see if one is more appealing or will be safer than another. We provide pregnancy counseling onsite, but we also take advantage of and provide transportation to classes and resources that are available locally.
Like any new skill, breastfeeding takes knowledge and practice to be successful. It is critical that a new mother is totally detoxed and remains substance free for the duration of her breastfeeding. Typically, a pregnant women who learn about how to breastfeed are more likely to be successful than those who do not. Breastfeeding classes offer pregnant women and their partners the chance to prepare and ask questions before the baby’s arrival.
Most first-time parents have never cared for a newborn. The care that is required can be further complicated by the mother’s substance abuse while pregnant. Babies born to mothers who have problems with drugs aren’t necessarily born addicted, but they can be born with drugs in their system. This can cause them a great deal of discomfort. Once the supply of drugs (delivered through the mother’s umbilical cord) goes away, babies can experience painful withdrawal symptoms and other health problems.
At The Connection we provide treatment exclusively for addicted pregnant women and new moms. A standard component of treatment includes parenting classes both on-premises and through community resources. These classes cover the basics, such as diapering, feeding, and bathing your newborn. You also will learn these basic skills in the hospital before you are discharged.
Children don’t come with how-to manuals. So some parents appreciate learning about the different stages of child development, as well as practical skills for dealing with common issues, such as discipline or parent-child power struggles. The Connection has specialist counselors and social workers who work one on one with our clients to teach this type of class.