Prenatal care is essential to promote healthy birth outcomes. It is also an opportunity to provide education along with verbal screening regarding substance use and exposures during pregnancy. Having fact based information on the potential impact of alcohol, tobacco, medications and illicit substances during pregnancy allows for conversations, questions and possibly connections to services, resulting in the opportunity for improved overall outcomes.

Women who are using substances during pregnancy should be informed by their prenatal care providers of the Plan of Safe Care that may be developed if their infant is identified as ‘affected by substance abuse’ by meeting one of the criteria (see definitions). Providing information on the policy, definitions and what a Plan of Safe Care is, the POSC FAQ Prenatal Care handout will help prepare women for what to expect at the hospital, as well as educate them on how to make healthy changes during their pregnancy to have the best outcomes for their child.

Prenatal Care resources: