Drug Addiction and Pregnancy
When a woman is struggling with drug addiction during her pregnancy, that drug use affects more than just her – it affects her fetus as well. The drugs can also have devastating effects on the child one he or she is born. Drug addiction and pregnancy should be treated as a very serious issue. Back to Top of your health online page
A mother taking illegal drugs during pregnancy increases her risk for anemia, blood and heart infections, skin infections, hepatitis, and other infectious diseases. She also is at greater risk for sexually transmitted diseases. Most drugs cross the placenta – the organ that provides nourishment to the baby. Some can cause direct toxic, or poisonous effects and create a child who is born with a drug addiction.
During pregnancy, a woman needs to take active steps to combat her drug addiction, if not for herself, but for the good of her unborn child. While most drugs don’t necessarily cause deformities, what they can do is stunt the growth of the child leading to low birth weight and having a baby born already addicted to drugs.
Once that child takes his or her first breath, they begin the painful process of withdrawing from drugs. This puts stress on the baby’s organs and provides for a very unhappy life. As much pain as an adult goes through during withdrawal, the pain is compounded for a helpless child.
A urine lab test performed on a woman during her pregnancy called a chromatography can detect the presence of many drugs including marijuana and cocaine. Marijuana use during pregnancy is linked to behavioral problems in the child and cocaine can bring on premature delivery and even stillbirth.
Drug addiction is a very complex mental condition as well a physical one. During pregnancy, it becomes a serious health risk both for the mother and the baby. After birth, you may find yourself having troubles coping with the stress of a newborn. You may have difficulty dealing with your baby’s needs such as feeding and diapering.
So what can you do if you are dealing with drug addiction during pregnancy? This can be problematic, especially if the child is not planned. The best thing you can do is to stop using drugs immediately. Sure, this will cause severe physical symptoms, but those generally subside within a few weeks. Get yourself into some type of treatment program and get counseling.
A pregnancy is exciting, but when you are struggling with drug addiction, it can be painful. You owe it to yourself and you owe it to your child to beat your drug addiction and have a healthy pregnancy.
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