Approximately one third of the adults who access drug services are women of the reproductive age. There are approximately 6000 births to problem drug users in the UK each year. That makes up about one percent of all deliveries. For these kind of patients it is essential that they have a multidisciplinary team at their disposal for their care. Because such care is necessary to optimize the outcomes of the pregnancy because the financial, psychological, social and domestic problems associated with drug misuse are often greater than the physical and medical concerns.
Melbourne obstetricians have found that opioids, especially heroin remains to be the most widely used drug of abuse, especially in the UK. Although many drug users take a combination of drugs that often include cocaine or crack cocaine. And most of these problem drug users also have a heavy alcohol consumption and smoke tobacco. The use of multiple drugs greatly increases the unpredictability of the effect of the drug on their body. IV use as the route of introducing the drug into the body also increases the risk that the user puts themselves at risk at. Because there is a high probability of infections like hepatitis B and C as well as HIV. And in the UK screening for such infections like Hepatitis B and HIV is offered to pregnant women as a routine.
The duty of a high risk obstetrician is to identify the problems with regard to the pregnancy and ensure that the mother understands the risk that she is putting both herself and the baby at if she continues her lifestyle in the same manner. Because most these drug users live in disadvantaged communities in conditions of poverty and social exclusion. Many of these mothers to be have had poor parenting experiences themselves. And add to this poor education and significant mental health problems you are not creating an ideal environment in which to raise a child. Therefore along with making sure the pregnancy runs smoothly and the bay is healthy doctors also have to ensure that they attempt to stabilize the mother’s drug taking habits with the help of social services and psychiatrist. In many cases multidisciplinary case conferences should be held to make arrangements and decisions for when the baby is delivered. Because you can’t have the baby growing up in such testing circumstances. And since you have the means to make a change before the bay is born you need to try your level best to make sure that the baby will be having the best care possible after delivery.