Pregnancy and Substance Abuse

When you are pregnant, you are not just "eating for two." You also breathe and drink for two, so it is important to carefully consider what you give to your baby. If you smoke, use alcohol or take illegal drugs, so does your unborn baby. First, don't smoke. Smoking during pregnancy passes nicotine and cancer-causing drugs to your baby. Smoke also keeps your baby from getting nourishment and raises the risk of stillbirth or premature birth. Don't drink alcohol. There is no known safe amount of alcohol a woman can drink while pregnant. Alcohol can cause life-long physical and behavioral problems in children, including fetal alcohol syndrome. Don't use illegal drugs. Using illegal drugs may cause underweight babies, birth defects or withdrawal symptoms after birth. If you are pregnant and you smoke, drink alcohol or do drugs, get help. Your health care provider can recommend programs to help you quit. You and your baby will be better off. National Women's Health Information Center

contains toxins that keep your baby from getting the proper supply of oxygen that he or she needs to grow. placental abruption. Studies have shown that consumption of illegal drugs during pregnancy can result inmiscarriage. Smoking marijuana increases the levels of carbon monoxide and . Marijuana. Consumption of illegal drugs is not safe for the unborn baby or for the mother. fetal death. and even maternal death.Using Illegal Street Drugs During Pregnancy Email Print When you are pregnant. weed. low birth weight. it is important that you watch what you put into your body. Marijuana:    Common slang names: pot. premature labor. The following information can help you understand these drugs and their effects. How can marijuana affect the baby? Studies of marijuana in pregnancy are inconclusive because many women who smoke marijuana also use tobacco and alcohol. like cigarette smoke. grass and reefer What happens when a pregnant woman smokes marijuana? Marijuana crosses the placenta to your baby.

Later in pregnancy. premature births. Cocaine:     Common slang names: bump. toot. Babies born to mothers who use cocaine throughout their pregnancy may also have a smaller head and be growth restricted. you should stop smoking. sleeplessness. Doing this will decrease the chance of harming your baby. Birth defects and other side effects are usually a result of . The elimination of cocaine is slower in a fetus than in an adult. carbon dioxide in the blood. C. and behavioral and learning problems. women who use cocaine during their pregnancy have a 25 % increased chance of premature labor. kidneys. which reduces the oxygen supply to the baby. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecology (ACOG). and brain are also possible. and candy What happens when a pregnant woman consumes cocaine? Cocaine crosses the placenta and enters your baby's circulation. Abram. Babies who are exposed to cocaine later in pregnancy may be born dependent and suffer from withdrawal symptoms such as tremors. and fetal death. coke. snow. Defects of the genitals. muscle spasms. OTIS also states that the risk of birth defects appears to be greater when the mother has used cocaine frequently during pregnancy. What if I consumed cocaine before I knew I was pregnant?There have not been any conclusive studies done on single doses of cocaine during pregnancy. developmental delays. What if I smoked marijuana before I knew I was pregnant?According to Dr." Once you are aware you are pregnant. This means that cocaine remains in the baby's body much longer than it does in your body. and feeding difficulties. Richard S. Placental abruption can lead to severe bleeding. preterm birth. during the early months of pregnancy cocaine exposure may increase the risk of miscarriage. crack. Smoking marijuana during pregnancy can increase the chance of miscarriage. flake. "occasional use of marijuana during the first trimester is unlikely to cause birth defects. Some experts believe that learning difficulties may result as the child gets older. How can cocaine affect my baby? According to the Organization of Teratology Information Services (OTIS). author of Will it Hurt the Baby. cocaine use can cause placental abruption. low birth weight.

and infant death. and withdrawal syndrome if used frequently. It is best that you communicate with your health care provider. the unborn baby can become dependent on the drug. Babies can also be born addicted to heroin and can suffer from withdrawal symptoms. fever. LSD can lead to birth defects if used frequently. Withdrawal symptoms include lethargy. but because studies are inconclusive. alternating with tremors. Because this drug is so addictive.prolonged use. junk. Both PCP and LSD users can behave violently. breathing difficulties. and H-stuff What happens when a pregnant woman uses heroin?Heroin is a very addictive drug that crosses the placenta to the baby. What if I experimented with LSD or PCP before I knew I was pregnant? No conclusive studies have been done on one time use effects of . low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). sleep abnormalities. bleeding within the brain (intracranial hemorrhage). poor muscle control. How can heroin affect my baby? Using heroin during pregnancy increases the chance of premature birth. convulsions. low birth weight. diarrhea. smack. Cocaine is a very addictive drug and experimentation often leads to abuse of the drug. Heroin:     Common slang names: horse. especially when you are pregnant. What if I am addicted to heroin and I am pregnant?Treating an addiction to heroin can be complicated. and joint stiffness. How can PCP and LSD affect my baby? PCP use during pregnancy can lead to low birth weight. it is best to avoid cocaine altogether. so he or she can provide the best treatment for you and your baby. which can be passed to their unborn children. Mothers who inject narcotics are more susceptible to HIV. Withdrawal symptoms include irritability. which may harm the baby if the mother hurts herself. brain damage. PCP & LSD:    What happens when a pregnant woman takes PCP and LSD? PCP and LSD are hallucinogens. Your health care provider may prescribe methadone as a form of treatment.

speed. muscle spasms. crystal. How can methamphetamine affect my baby: Taking methamphetamine during pregnancy can result in problems similar to those seen with the use of cocaine in pregnancy. and crank What happens when a pregnant woman takes methamphetamine? Methamphetamine is chemically related to amphetamine. The laws that adress prenatal substance abuse are as follows: . glass. and feeding difficulties.these drugs on the fetus. which can lead to low birth weight. The use of speed can cause the baby to get less oxygen. What if I experimented with methamphetamine before I knew I was pregnant? There have not been any significant studies done on the effect of one time use of methamphetamine during pregnancy. It is best not to experiment if you are trying to get pregnant or think you might be pregnant. It is best not to experiment if you are trying to get pregnant or think you might be pregnant. and placental abruption. Babies can be born addicted to methamphetamine and suffer withdrawal symptoms that include tremors. miscarriage. What does the law say? Currently there are no states that holds prenatal substance abuse as a criminal act of child abuse and neglect. But many have expanded their civil child-welfare requirements to include substance abuse during pregnancy as grounds for terminating parental rights in relation to child abuse and neglect. Methamphetamine:     Common slang names: meth. sleeplessness. Methamphetamine can also increase the likelihood of premature labor. which causes the heart rate of the mother and baby to increase. Some experts believe that learning difficulties may result as the child gets older.

and Wisconsin. Iowa. Indiana. Therefore prenatal drug exposure can provide grounds for terminating parental rights because of child abuse or neglect. Florida. Iowa. In 2004. and North Dakota's health care providers are required to test for and report prenatal drug exposure. Some states consider prenatal substance abuse as part of their child welfare laws. Illinois. Arizona. Massachusetts. Reporting and testing can be evidence used in child welfare proceedings. South Dakota. and Wisconsin. Minnesota. Minnesota. Montana. Colorado. Oklahoma. These states include: Minnesota. South Carolina. resulting in a prison sentence of 2-20 years. South Dakota. Rhode Island.     . Utah. Texas. Louisiana. health care providers are required to report prenatal drug exposure. These states include: Arkansas. Texas made it a felony to smoke marijuana while pregnant. Michigan. Kentucky health care providers are only required to test. Rhode Island and Virginia's. Nevada. Some states have policies that enforce admission to an inpatient treatment program for pregnant women who use drugs. Virginia. Illinois. Louisiana. Alaska.