Moving HEAL Research into Action

Pregnant people need more support during pregnancy and beyond

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Pregnancy is a time of increased motivation, increased support, increased access to healthcare and other resources, and more. Many pregnant people make significant changes in their use of substances during pregnancy, but, unfortunately, relapse to substances is incredibly common during the postpartum. There needs to be more focus and effort on how we can help pregnant people make sustainable changes in their substance use that goes beyond the postpartum period. This should include identification of and access to effective relapse prevention programs that go beyond the use of pharmaceuticals. For example, pending results of efficacy trials, this might include things like peer support, education and counseling for how to manage stress and negative mood, training and connections to work opportunities, access to doula support in the postpartum, access to childcare, and more. There is so much opportunity to use this unique period in life (pregnancy) to make and sustain lifelong changes that will provide the entire family with a more favorable future.

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Idea No. 55