Flykt, M.S., Salo, S. & Pajulo, M. “A Window of Opportunity”: Parenting and Addiction in the Context of Pregnancy. Curr Addict Rep (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40429-021-00394-4
Purpose of Review
Maternal prenatal substance use presents a multilevel risk to child development and parenting. Although parenting interventions are increasingly integrated into substance use treatment, prenatal parenting processes have not received equal attention within these interventions. This article aims to synthesize the evidence on the specific prenatal risk factors affecting the development of early parenting of substance-using mothers, as well as interventions focusing on those factors.
Both neurobiological and psychosocial risk factors affect the prenatal development of parenting in the context of maternal substance use. Maternal–fetal attachment, mentalization, self-regulation, and psychosocial risks are important in treatment and highly intertwined with abstinence. Although parenting interventions seem to be highly beneficial, most studies have not differentiated between pre- and postnatal interventions or described pregnancy-specific intervention elements.
Due to the salience of pregnancy in treating substance-using parents, interventions should begin prenatally and include pregnancy-specific parenting focus. Further research on prenatal interventions is warranted.
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