Substance Use and Utilization of Prenatal and Postpartum Care

Nichole Nidey, Laura R. Kair, Christine Wilder, Tanya E. Froehlich, Stephanie Weber, Alonzo Folger, Michael Marcotte, Karen Tabb, Katherine Bowers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives:Prenatal and postpartum care for women with substance use is important due to increased risk of poor health outcomes. The influence of substance use on perinatal care utilization is not well characterized, especially postpartum care. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of substance use during pregnancy on prenatal and postpartum care utilization in a nationally representative sample and to identify maternal characteristics associated with inadequate prenatal and postpartum care among women with substance use.Methods:Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System data (2016-2018) from 8 states were used for this study. Logistic regression models adjusted for complex survey weights and confounder variables were used to estimate the odds of not receiving adequate prenatal care and postpartum care. Weighted Rao-Scott chi-square tests were used to examine maternal characteristics associated with care utilization among women who reported substance use during pregnancy.Results:The study included 15,131 women, with 5.3% who reported illicit substance use during pregnancy. In multivariable models, substance use was associated with an increase in the odds of not receiving adequate prenatal care (OR 1.69, CI 1.32, 2.17) and not receiving postpartum care (OR: 1.47, CI 1.10, 1.95). Among women who reported substance use, depression and smoking status were associated with not receiving adequate prenatal or postpartum care.Conclusions:Substance use during pregnancy is independently associated with disparities in prenatal and postpartum care access. Future studies are needed to identify how barriers lead to care inequalities and importantly, to identify strategies to improve care utilization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-92
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Addiction Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • postpartum care
  • pregnancy
  • prenatal care
  • substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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