Every woman should be thinking about her health whether or not she is planning pregnancy. One reason is that about half of all pregnancies are not planned. Unplanned pregnancies are at greater risk of preterm birth, low birth weight babies and prenatal alcohol exposure. Another reason is that, despite important advances in medicine and prenatal care, about 1 in 8 babies are born too early. Researchers are trying to find out why and how to prevent preterm birth. But experts agree that women need to be healthier before becoming pregnant. By taking action on health issues and risks before pregnancy, you can prevent problems that might affect you or your baby later.


The NC Pregnancy and Opioid Exposure Project is an umbrella under which information, resources and technical assistance are disseminated regarding the subject of pregnancy and opioid exposure.

The project web site, ncpoep.org, is hosted by UNC School of Social Work and is funded by the federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant Fund (CFDA #93.959) as a project of the NC Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities & Substance Abuse Services.

For more information contact Melissa Godwin at mgodwin@email.unc.edu

Women of Childbearing Age and Pregnant Women Who are Taking Opioids

If you’re thinking about getting pregnant, the best thing you and your partner can do for your baby is to plan ahead. Having a healthy baby begins well before you get pregnant, so start making healthy choices now!

Click here for more information from the March of Dimes.