Pregnant and Parenting People

Opioid use during pregnancy can increase the risk of premature delivery, drug withdrawal of newborns (Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome), stillbirth and maternal death.

People with opioid use disorder may also misuse other drugs, so it is important to address all substance use among pregnant people and those who recently had a baby. These people should be screened for both legal and illegal drug use and treated when needed. Pregnancy is a time when people may be more receptive to substance use treatment as they prepare for parenting.

What are we doing?  

  • We’re working to identify, treat and support pregnant and parenting people with opioid use disorder and other substance use disorders by:
    • Decreasing lengthy enrollment timeframes for residential treatment services that allow parents to bring their children.
    • Expanding capacity for the evidence-based home visitation case management model, Parent-Child Assistance Program (PCAP), to decrease lengthy enrollment timeframes for pregnant and parenting people.
    • Linking people to services that address their housing, employment and food security needs.
    • Educating maternity care providers to identify and treat, or rapidly refer people with substance use disorder during pregnancy, and exploring group prenatal care.
    • Encouraging clinical practices and hospital policies supportive of parents and infants.
    • Expanding family planning services for clients of syringe service programs.
    • Increasing consistency in child removal practices, and strengthening connections with community resources.

How are we doing?   

  • Analyses shows the rate of opioid use disorder at delivery increased ninefold from 1.2 per 1,000 hospitalizations for delivery in 1999 to 10.8 per 1,000 in 2014.  Some women with opioid use disorder identified at delivery may be receiving medications to treat opioid use disorder. 
  • There was an estimated four week enrollment delay for pregnant and parenting people to obtain residential treatment for opioid use disorder in 2018.  Current proposed legislation is designed to address this problem.
  • PCAP expanded capacity statewide by 119 clients in July 2018, bringing the total clients served at one time to 1439.