Being dependent upon Morphine while pregnant is not an ideal situation, but there are risks for women who try to get off it. Morphine dependency or addiction can harm the unborn child, and opiate detox can have it’s own risks.
Morphine, a highly potent opioid, is used to treat moderate to severe pain. People can become dependent upon it after prolonged use or abuse. Morphine detox and pregnancy, is not something to be taken lightly or to attempt without medical directions.
Morphine Withdrawal Can be Risky, Especially for Mothers and Unborn Babies
Women who become pregnant while dependent upon Morphine often resist treatment for fear of judgment, losing their child to authorities and withdrawal. Continued use during pregnancy can pose risks such as low birth weight, pre-term labor and birth defects. Self-detox or “cold turkey” detox is strongly discouraged due to potential risks to the mother and the fetus. During withdrawal, the mother can experience symptoms such as:
- Runny nose
- Body aches/ muscle pain
- Elevated heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Intense cravings
The intensity of Morphine withdrawal can cause complications to the fetus such as birth defects, spontaneous abortion and possibly fetal death. An unsupervised detox from Morphine greatly increases the odds for complications such as these.
An Opiate Maintenance Program is Recommended During Pregnancy
Medical professionals discourage opiate detox or traditional drug treatment programs during pregnancy. At this time, the recognized standard of care for expectant mothers is Methadone maintenance. Methadone is used as a replacement for Morphine to lessen the intensity of withdrawal, avoid dangerous complications and to minimize the Morphine craving.
This regimen requires expectant mothers to take a maintenance dose of Methadone daily throughout the pregnancy. This is seen as the best possible option because Methadone is not known to cause birth defects or have any long-term effects on the baby. An additional benefit of this treatment is that it requires women to participate in regular medical visits to obtain their dose, insuring that their health is being monitored throughout pregnancy. This is necessary for the welfare of both mother and child.
Waismann Method Treatment is a world-renowned opiate treatment program that helps people from all walks of life get off opiates for good. This detox program cannot treat pregnant women because of risks.
Methadone is an opiate as well so it’s likely the baby will be born dependent upon it. The baby may experience opiate withdrawal symptoms such as: irritability, rapid breathing, various stomach issues and an unmistakable high-pitched cry. As they gradually wean from the drug, these symptoms can be minimized by low doses of Methadone. These infants should be held and soothed often. It also helps if they are kept in a calm and dark room.