Do attitudes in society play a part in the approach to antenatal services?

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Martin, Geraldine
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MA in Addiction Studies
Dublin Business School
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According to Studies across the UK and Ireland since 1995, there has been extensive identification that drug-dependent women are a distinct group among women using the maternity services. The objective of this research project is to scrutinise whether or not it would be shrewd to have separate services for pregnant drug users or whether they should be encouraged to use the mainstream services. Does societies view of drug use have an over bearing influence on addicts lack of willingness to engage in the already existing antenatal and postnatal care or is this system inadequate and failing as a result of its own short comings? The author will ask the Health Professionals what are their views on this topic. The document focused on the recognised need for a specialised maternity service for drug-using women in inner city Dublin. It will observe how present service provision is failing to meet the multiple needs of pregnant drug users, and proposes how these requirements could be enhanced. The proposal outlined in the paper will act as a method for a transformation in the provision of maternity services, offering the possibility for a long-term improvement in health care for mother and their family. The critical aim would be to maximise maternal and foetal outcome by contributing specialist support to women who use drugs during pregnancy, and to support the reduction of harm in relation to unsafe sexual and drug using behaviour. The paper will argue that a combined proposal is vital if art ample specialist service is to be provided for the increasing number of pregnant drug-using women. The value of long-term awareness and levels of trust between drug-using women and service providers is stressed as it is just as significant issue as is the medical aspect of care.