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 the wait-time for residential treatment services that allow parents to bring their children.
    • 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?   

  • State agencies are currently working together to identify and update measures.
  • 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.