This Evidence Check review aimed to summarise the latest available evidence for the intervention and treatment of substance use in pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period. It will be used to update NSW Health Clinical Guidelines for Management of Substance Use during Pregnancy, Birth and the Postnatal Period. The review aimed to identify effective interventions for: improving outcomes for women who use substances during pregnancy and their developing fetus during the antenatal period, birth and postnatal period up to 2 years of the child’s life; reducing the risk of harm in breastfeeding women who use substances; treating neonatal substance withdrawal syndromes; and the prevention of resumption of smoking and other substance use within the six-months postnatal period. Although the review yielded useful information it also identified gaps in the evidence and notes areas requiring further research.


Oei J L, Azim S I, Lee E, Blythe S, Black K et al. Substance use during pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period: an Evidence Check rapid review brokered by the Sax Institute NSW Ministry of Health, January 2021

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