CHAMP Clinic is a specialised antenatal clinic within Mater Mothers' Hospital that provides care to pregnant women with substance-use issues.
CHAMP Clinic assists pregnant women to make positive changes in regards to substance-use. CHAMP Clinic's experienced staff provide health education and support. In addition, CHAMP staff can support women with mental illness and/or psychosocial problems and will advocate for pregnant women with special needs. Women can self-refer to CHAMP Clinic.
Alcohol, tobacco and other substance use in pregnancy and breastfeeding
Drinking alcohol or using drugs while pregnant, will expose an unborn baby to its effects. This may affect how the baby grows and develops during pregnancy and may continue to impact on the baby after birth. This is influenced by a number of factors such as:
- the type of drug (e.g. alcohol, cannabis) and the amount used
- stage of pregnancy when substance is used
- other health and lifestyle issues.
Stopping alcohol and drug use in pregnancy, providing a positive home environment and nurturing a baby will help it baby grow and develop.
Maintaining a healthy pregnancy
This includes not only includes abstaining from alcohol and drugs, but also means you:
- regular antenatal checks
- ensure adequate nutrition and sleep
- plenty of rest and relaxation
- ensure the prescribing doctor is aware of your pregnancy, if using prescribed medications
- ask if over-the-counter preparations are safe to use in pregnancy.
It is important that a pregnant woman and her partner:
- stop smoking
- ask family members and friends not to smoke around you
- stop drinking alcohol
- stop other substance use
- anything is a good time to stop and the earlier the better.
- for women on opioid replacement therapies, staying stable on medication and stopping all other recreational drug use is recommended.
It is also important to see a midwife and doctor regularly throughout pregnancy and to talk to them if there are are problems stopping drinking, smoking or substance use. These clinicians will be able to provide advice and information to assist.
In preparing for a baby and parenthood, it is important surround oneself with family people who are supportive.
Having a baby at Mater
If you attend CHAMP Clinic
at Mater you will have access to:
- antenatal health checks with midwives, to help prepare you for birth
- access to an obstetrician and medical team
- health information and education
- intervention of alcohol and drug use problems
- support during your postnatal stay and for a short time after discharge, if needed
- parenting information and advice
- referral to other health/support services both within the hospital and community i.e. social work services, child health clinics.