Perinatal Program

Prevention Information

What Does Perinatal Mean?

Perinatal means the period around childbirth, especially the five months before and one month after the birth; starting at the 20th to 28th week of pregnancy and ending 1-4 weeks after birth.

Our perinatal program, however, is designed to include valuable prevention/education information prior to, during, and after childbirth. We strongly believe that sound, accurate information will go a long way in insuring for healthier Moms and babies.

How Did This Perinatal Program Come About?

Wyoming Valley Alcohol and Drug Services, Inc. was awarded a grant from the Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania to provide perinatal prevention and education services to improve the health and wellness of unborn children by educating and guiding pregnant women and women of child bearing age concerning alcohol, drug, and tobacco use, abuse, and addiction.

What Are The Goals of the Program?

There are two primary goals of the perinatal program;

Goal #1 – To educate and provide guidance to pregnant women and women of child bearing age on health and wellness consequences to themselves and unborn children concerning the
use, abuse, and addiction of alcohol, drugs (illicit, pharmaceutical, and over-the-counter), and tobacco.

Goal #2 – In collaboration with local community and countywide agencies, we will provide healthcare practitioners (physicians, EMT’s, nurses, first responders, etc) and the community at
large with prevention and treatment information on alcohol, drug, and/or tobacco use, abuse, and addiction relative to pregnant women and women of child-bearing age.

Why Is This Perinatal Program Needed?

Women face many difficult decisions in life, none more important than the care of their unborn baby while they are developing in the womb. Even before a planned or unplanned pregnancy,
women must clearly understand that unhealthy decisions made prior to their baby’s birth could lead to potential negative consequences for the future arrival of their baby. A clear example of
this is that women who smoke or use tobacco products, drugs and/or alcohol prior to a pregnancy may have difficulty discontinuing their use once they find out they are pregnant. Additionally, when one examines the facts regarding perinatal drug and alcohol use, abuse, and addiction, it further demonstrates why this program is so important.

Facts: 

  • 13-22% of women and girls in the United States smoke while pregnant
  • Women who smoke increase their risk for infertility, ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy outside of the uterus), spontaneous abortion, and stillbirth
  • Tobacco use is responsible for approximately 22-41% of deaths from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) annually
  • Each year, as many as 40,000 babies are born in the United States with a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD); Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), Fetal Alcohol Effects (FAE), Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND), and Alcohol-Related Birth Defects (ARBD)
  • 44% of women who drink heavily during pregnancy will have a child with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • There is no safe amount of alcohol during pregnancy; WHAT THE MOM DRINKS, THE BABY DRINKS
  • In Pennsylvania, 19.1% of women of childbearing age reported binge drinking in the past month, compared to 13.1% overall in the United States
  • The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence national survey indicates that marijuana was used during pregnancy by 3% of women (119,000), cocaine by 1.1% (45,000), and a psychotherapeutic medication without physician orders by 1.5% (61,000 women). Crack was the form of cocaine use most frequently reported.
  • According to the Office of Health and Human Services, upwards of 75% of all perinatally-acquired HIV infections are secondary to intravenous drug use by an infected mother or her sexual partner.

What Are The Planned Initiatives For The Perinatal Program; Reaching The Targeted Populations

Wyoming Valley Alcohol and Drug Services, Inc. will utilize its strong position as a recognized leader of prevention/education programs and will collaborate with community partners (social
service, health care, medical, school, women’s organizations) in insuring for efficient, effective, innovative, and highly-informative programs.

        1. Informational Brochures delineating effects of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs (illicit, pharmaceutical, and over-the-counter) on women and fetal development.
        2. School-Based Curriculum featuring educational and instructional tools addressing effects and consequences of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs on women and fetal development.
        3. Development of a Screening Tool for moms-to-be; distributed to women of child bearing age, moms-to-be, caregivers, health professionals, grant partners…checklist designed to
          identify current or potential risks, hazards, consequences to women and fetal development.
        4. Informational Brochures and Announcements In Physicians Offices regarding the availability of perinatal services through Wyoming Valley Alcohol and Drug Services, Inc. Additionally, announcements reminding women to speak to their physicians about pregnancy and alcohol, tobacco, pharmaceutical, over-the-counter, and other drugs of abuse. Finally, notices placed in physicians offices will encourage women who are using alcohol and drugs to seek help through WVADS, Inc. by calling 820-8888. This important linkage will hopefully result in reducing and eliminating potential consequences to mother and baby as the result of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs.
        5. Development of a Screening Tool to be utilized by medical facilities, health care sites, human and social service agencies, clinical settings, etc. to assist women in identifying potential risks or consequences to themselves and their unborn child relative to alcohol, tobacco, or other drug use while pregnant.
        6. Workshops and Seminars will be conducted for physicians, physician assistants, nurses, nurse assistants, social workers, counselors, psychologists, caseworkers, support staff and others involved in the care of women and their unborn child.
        7. Informational Messages For Community consisting of billboards, print and electronic educational messages, health fairs, brochures describing impact of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs of abuse on women and fetal development.
        8. Youth Related Perinatal Projects such as challenging young people to participate in essay and poster contests with perinatal addiction themes, requesting that young people present graduation projects on issues about or relating to perinatal addiction.

In addition to these planned initiatives, we will develop additional ones as we progress through the grant cycle.

Where Can I Go For Help If I Have A Problem With Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs?

Wyoming Valley Alcohol and Drug Services, Inc. provides confidential, professional assessment/evaluation and counseling services in a comfortable office setting at 437 North Main Street, Wilkes-Barre…820-8888. Our trained and highly-skilled counselors will meet with you to discuss treatment options and recommendations designed for you and your baby’s health. REMEMBER…early detection is important and will go a long way in reducing and eliminating health consequences for you and your baby.

Why Should I Talk To My Physician?

Not every medication poses a risk to your unborn baby. However, some do. That’s why it is important that you are completely honest in discussing your intake or planned intake of alcohol,
tobacco, over-the-counter drugs, and other drugs of abuse with your physician. Alcohol in any amount can be harmful, as well as the use of any tobacco product while pregnant. Also,
we know that illicit drugs (illegal drugs) of any type are very harmful to mothers and unborn children. Additionally, if you are taking any of the following types or categories of drugs or
medications, you are encouraged to discuss any potential consequences on you and your unborn child.

          • Antibiotics
          • Cholesterol
          • Cancer
          • Muscle Relaxants
          • Cardiovascular/Hypertension
          • Analgesics (pain relief)
          • Anti-Convulsants
          • Anti-Depressants
          • Anti-Inflammatory
          • Stimulants/Appetite Suppressants
          • Anti-Coagulants (blood thinners)
          • Diuretics
          • Anti-Secretory Drugs
          • Hormones
          • Anti-Diabetic
          • Anti-Progesterone
          • Estrogen
          • Asthma/Bronchodilators
          • Acne Medications
          • Urinary Tract Anti-Spasmodics

Remember, your physician should be consulted continually throughout your pregnancy since this partnership is working for the same goal; a healthy Mom and Baby.

Are All The Agency Services Confidential?

Yes. Your confidentiality and well-being is our #1 concern. There are many state and federal confidentiality laws which protect you and assure for your privacy. Additionally, our agency has
a highly trained, dedicated, and professional staff that emphasizes confidentiality, patient dignity, and ethics.

Resource Websites

Prevention/Education Websites

On Drug/Alcohol Effects on Women and Fetal Development

  1. Motherisk
  2. National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  3. March of Dimes 
  4. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Family Resource Institute
  5. FAS Center For Excellence – Center For Substance Abuse Prevention
  6. University of Washington School of Medicine Fetal Alcohol and Drug Unit
  7. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
  8. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
  9. American Legacy
  10. American Lung Association
  11. BabyZone
  12. American Council For Drug Education
  13. National Institute of Health
  14. National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD)
  15. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention
  16. National Clearinghouse For Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI)
  17. The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library
  18. The Partnership For A Drug Free America
  19. FDA Ratings For Prescription Drug Use During Pregnancy; Active Ingredients In Common Over-The-Counter Products
  20. Kids Health For Parents 
  21. Westside Pregnancy Resource Center
  22. Minnesota Dept. of Health Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorders and Prevention
  23. WorldProfit.Com – Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effects
  24. Creative Consultants, Inc.
  25. Alcohol Policies Project – Center For Science In The Public Interest
  26. State of Alaska Office of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  27. The FAS Family Resource Institute
  28. SAMHSA Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders

Perinatal Program of Wyoming Valley Alcohol and Drug Services, Inc. funded by a special grant from the Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Risk Assessment Questionnaire

Risk Assessment Questionnaire For Mothers-To-Be

Answer our Risk Assessment Questionnaire For Mothers-To-Be Today