Maternal Substance Use Disorder

A Look at Provider Stigma, Attitudes, and Beliefs


  • Kristin Trainor BSU



Stigma, NAS, Drug use, Pregnancy, Attitudes


Pregnant women with substance use disorder (SUD) can face varying degrees of negative interactions with healthcare providers, including judgment of the individual’s value and involvement in their infant’s care. This research explored potential stigma and attitudes among medical providers within a maternal/fetal healthcare setting towards women with maternal SUD. An electronic survey was administered to 117 health care providers, including social workers, who work with pregnant women in an urban, Midwest, healthcare facility. Attitudes and stigma differed significantly based on the health care providers’ discipline. Healthcare providers who viewed SUD as a disease had a more positive perception of mothers with SUD. By building professional awareness, creating policy change, increasing education, and continuing research regarding maternal SUD, social workers have an opportunity to develop responsive support programs for healthcare workers and promote overall change within the healthcare setting.


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