Pregnant women with substance use or abuse problems face greater complications for themselves and for their newborn. Babies born to women with substance abuse or addiction may have low birth weight, physical defects or health complications.
High-risk pregnancies leave women vulnerable to relapse. Women who have multiple health problems may find it harder to avoid narcotics or other controlled substances during pregnancy.
A new partnership between Brody School of Medicine obstetricians and counselors at ECU's College of Allied Health Science's Navigate Counseling Clinic has allowed the creation of Beginnings - the Pregnancy and Recovery Clinic.
This program offers hope and coping strategies for pregnant women with addiction or substance use. Beginnings - PARC reaches out to pregnant women who are receiving care for high-risk pregnancies, that is for pregnancies where high blood pressure, obesity, smoking, infectious diseases or heart problems are also present.
Through this new partnership, Beginnings - PARC provides counseling for women who may also be abusing legal or illegal substances including
In addition to the problems caused by their substance use, pregnant women may also feel shame or guilt and keep their addiction secret. Women who have recovered may struggle to maintain sobriety or abstinence from drugs during a stressful pregnancy and this program can help them, too.
Beginnings - PARC offers weekly confidential group and individual counseling sessions. Group sessions take place on the same day as the patient's regular prenatal appointment This convenient time and location provides an excellent opportunity for intervention. also provides counseling for mental health issues that may be present, such as depression or anxiety.
Patients are seen at the Regional Perinatal Center at ECU's Brody Outpatient Center which cares for high-risk pregnancies from throughout eastern North Carolina. The center has the only area obstetricians specializing in maternal-fetal medicine.