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Drug Abuse While Pregnant

Drug abuse during pregnancy can lead to a host of negative effects on your unborn baby. It is important to watch what you put into your body while you are pregnant, just as you would watch what you eat. Everything that goes into your body will have an effect on your unborn baby in one way or another.

Drug Use During Pregnancy

The use of illegal drugs, as well as the misuse of prescription drugs and drinking alcohol is never safe during pregnancy. It can cause life threatening effects on your unborn baby as well as yourself. Studies have shown that the use of illegal drugs during pregnancy can result in miscarriage, low birth weight, premature labor, placental abruption, developmental problems, fetal death, and even maternal death.  The following are commonly abuse drugs that can cause serious effects on your unborn baby.


Marijuana is known by many different names including: pot, weed, grass and reefer. You when smoke marijuana while pregnant it crosses the placenta to your baby. It is like cigarette smoke, putting carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide in the blood. These toxins keep your baby from getting the proper supply of oxygen that is needed to grow properly. If you smoke marijuana during your pregnancy it increases the chance of miscarriage, low birth weight, premature births, developmental delays, and behavioral and learning problems.


Cocaine is known by many other street names such as: bump, toot, C, coke, crack, flake, snow, and candy. When using ocaine during pregnancy it crosses the placenta and enters your baby’s circulation. The way cocaine is eliminated in an adult is much slower in a fetus, which means the drug remains in the baby’s body much longer than it does in your body.

Cocaine use in early pregnancy can result in miscarriage. Its use later in pregnancy can cause placental abruption, which can lead to severe bleeding, preterm birth, and fetal death. According to the Organization of Teratology Information Services (OTIS), mothers who use cocaine frequently throughout their pregnancy have a greater risk of birth defects,the baby may also have a smaller head and be growth restricted. Cocaine use also increases the chance of premature labor by 25%, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecology (ACOG). When a baby is born to a cocaine dependent mother they are at great risk of experiencing withdrawal symptoms such as tremors, sleeplessness, muscle spasms, and feeding difficulties.


Heroin is known by common street names such as: horse, smack, junk, and H-stuff. When used during pregnancy, this highly addictive drug crosses the placenta to the baby, causing the baby to become dependent on the drug. Heroin use throughout your pregnancy greatly increases the chance of premature birth, low birth weight, breathing difficulties, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), bleeding within the brain (intracranial hemorrhage), and infant death. There is a risk of passing along viral infections to the unborn baby due to injecting heroin, such as HIV and AIDS. Babies born to heroin addicted mothers will often experience withdrawal symptoms, which include irritability, convulsions, diarrhea, fever, sleep abnormalities, and joint stiffness.


Methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant drug, known by many names such as: meth, speed, crystal, glass, and crank.  When taking methamphetamine during your pregnancy it causes not only your heart rate to increase but your unborn babies too, as well as not allowing the baby to get enough oxygen, which can lead to low birth weight. Methamphetamine use throughout your pregnancy can also increase the risk of premature labor, miscarriage, and placental abruption. Babies can be born dependent on methamphetamine may experience withdrawal symptoms that include tremors, sleeplessness, muscle spasms, and feeding difficulties. Many children born to mothers who used methamphetamine during their pregnancy will have learning disabilities growing up.

Treating a Drug Abuse Problem While Pregnant

Everything you put into your body during your pregnancy is going to affect your unborn child. Turning to professionals for help today will allow you to stop drug use and begin working to create a healthy and more fulfilling life in sobriety. As a mother, you want what is best for your child. Regardless to how hard it may be on you, stopping drug abuse today will make it possible for you to give your child all that is good within you and take away the bad.

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Drug Abuse While Pregnant


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