Author: Jacqueline Woods, LCSW – Woman’s Hospital GRACE Program
For women struggling with opioid addiction, we know that sometimes it helps to have others to talk to who are going through something similar – especially when you are pregnant. The Woman’s Hospital GRACE Program recently started a support group for women who are struggling from dependence on or addiction to opioids and are pregnant, were recently pregnant, or are thinking of becoming pregnant.
Why a support group?
Groups have long been a mainstay of substance abuse treatment. This is largely because when you help someone else, it gives you a sense of purpose and self-confidence, which helps you stay abstinent (sober). Groups also function to hold you accountable – not just to the counselor, but to each other. Meeting other people in your situation can help you feel less alone.
What do we discuss?
What sets this group apart from the traditional 12 steps is that it is designed to discuss issues specifically related to opioids in pregnancy and motherhood, in a safe, confidential environment. We will cover treatment options during pregnancy, relapse prevention in the postpartum stage, stigma surrounding substance use in pregnancy and in motherhood, how to quit using if your partner doesn’t, preparing for your baby, and more.
While these support groups can be very helpful, they are not a substitute for getting the proper prenatal care. We encourage all women to seek out OB care once they know they are pregnant, and we realize this can be scary if you are struggling with an addiction. The GRACE Program team can answer your questions about how to talk to your doctor about your substance use and treatment plan. Our goal is simple: healthy moms, healthy babies. We work with you throughout the pregnancy to help you prepare to deliver and care for your baby!
The GRACE Program support group takes place on the third Wednesday of every month at noon on the Woman’s Hospital campus. Call 225-924-8574 for more details or visit womans.org/grace to learn more about the GRACE Program.