Background: The effects of mental and behavioral disorders (MBD) due to substance use during peri-conception and pregnancy on perinatal outcomes are unclear. The adverse perinatal outcomes of primiparous mothers admitted to hospital with MBD due to substance use before and/or during pregnancy were investigated.
Method: This study linked birth and hospital records in NSW, Australia. Subjects included primiparous mothers admitted to hospital for MBD due to use of alcohol, opioids or cannabinoids during peri-conception and pregnancy.
Results: There were 304 primiparous mothers admitted to hospital for MBD due to alcohol use (MBDA), 306 for MBD due to opioids use (MBDO) and 497 for MBD due to cannabinoids (MBDC) between the 12 months peri-conception and the end of pregnancy. Primiparous mothers admitted to hospital for MBDA during pregnancy or during both peri-conception and pregnancy were significantly more likely to give birth to a baby of low birthweight (AOR = 4.03, 95%CI: 1.97-8.24 for pregnancy; AOR = 9.21, 95%CI: 3.76-22.57 both periods); preterm birth (AOR = 3.26, 95% CI: 1.52-6.97 for pregnancy; AOR = 4.06, 95%CI: 1.50-11.01 both periods) and admission to SCN or NICU (AOR = 2.42, 95%CI: 1.31-4.49 for pregnancy; AOR = 4.03, 95%CI: 1.72-9.44 both periods). Primiparous mothers admitted to hospital for MBDO, MBDC or a combined diagnosis were almost three times as likely to give birth to preterm babies compared to mothers without hospital admissions for psychiatric or substance use disorders. Babies whose mothers were admitted to hospital with MBDO before and/or during pregnancy were six times more likely to be admitted to SCN or NICU (AOR = 6.29, 95%CI: 4.62-8.57).
Conclusion: Consumption of alcohol, opioids or cannabinoids during peri-conception or pregnancy significantly increased the risk of adverse perinatal outcomes.