Drug Abuse During Pregnancy: Effects on the Baby From Using Drugs While Pregnant | Need Help? Call 24/7 for a Free Assessment and Personalized Care
Most people have some idea of the effects that drug or alcohol addiction can have on an individual, both physically and psychologically. From the loss of family and friends to the financial hardships that substance abuse often causes, it’s clear that things aren’t headed in the right direction. But when a woman uses drugs while pregnant, she is not the only one affected.
The Effects of Drugs on the Baby
When it comes to drug use during pregnancy, effects on the baby can be devastating. During pregnancy, a mother is supposed to provide everything that a child needs to grow and thrive in the womb. But when an illicit substance is introduced into the body of a pregnant woman, it also enters the body of the unborn child, and the effects on a developing baby are likely to be even more severe than the effects of the same substance on the mother. This is just one reason why it is so important to seek out addiction treatment programs as soon as possible.
When drug abuse and pregnancy go hand in hand, the result is often children who enter into the world already at a disadvantage. Many experience things like:
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Physical impairment
- Cognitive impairment
- Low birth weight
- Birth defects
- A higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome
- Premature birth
Other Risk Factors to Consider
Outside of the direct effects of using drugs while pregnant, many drug users put themselves at risk of other health issues that are a result of their substance abuse. Risky behavior is common in those addicted to drugs, which can lead to things like sexually transmitted diseases, poor nutrition, or severe injury. Each of these things can harm the unborn child. And it isn’t unusual for addicts to combine their drug of choice with other substances, including alcohol, which can lead to fetal alcohol syndrome and bring another list of health problems that the child may have.
Are You Using Drugs While Pregnant?
If you’re involved in drug use during pregnancy, effects on the baby could be long-lasting. It’s important to get help as soon as possible. Mothers who quit during the first trimester of their pregnancy have a significant increase in their odds of delivering a healthy baby. While it’s easy to feel hopeless and guilty about the decisions that have been made, it’s never too late to get you and your child the help you need. Recovery programs designed specifically for expectant mothers can help you to transform your life and the life of your child, even if you have a dual diagnosis.
It’s important that expectant mothers and those who have recently given birth are offered a customized plan that will help them navigate both their recovery from substance abuse and their new family situation. If you’re ready for rehabilitation, call today to speak with a professional about the different options available to you. From medically assisted detox that can help you through the withdrawal period to private counseling, we want to give you the best chance at a new life with your child. Even if you have engaged in drug abuse while pregnant, there is still time to start over.