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Substance abuse during pregnancy
Pregnant Moms And Abusing DrugsAuthor: Jill Cohen
It can be hard to understand if you are someone who has never been addicted to drugs, why a pregnant woman may expose her unborn baby to drugs such as cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, use of marijuana, meth or by taking too many prescription medications in an abusive manner. We think about the baby and that the love of a mom for her child is unconditional.For the addicted mother, the drug cravings are so strong as is their habit. Many people know that babies who are exposed to addictive drugs through the use of the mother, may show signs of drug withdrawal. However, in addition, exposure to the drugs commonly abused can result in temporary or permanent damage to the newborn. It is said that as many as 360,000 babies are exposed to addictive drugs in the womb.Drug withdrawal for the infant includes symptoms such as nervousness, irritability, excessive crying, sweating, fever, spasms and convulsions, anxiety and problems sleeping and eating, slow growth and inability to hold food down. Luckily, many babies do get past the withdrawal symptoms and many do not suffer permanent damage.One thing that experts observe is that due to the fear of having their children removed or themselves arrested, many pregant moms that abuse drugs avoid doctor appointment and prenatal care. There is a fear of going to jail, having their children put in foster care as well as being under scrutiny. The fear of losing one s parental rights due to substance abuse is strong in many women, yet the inability to stop can be equally as strong.Babies exposed to cocaine, have the greatest risk of Sudden Infant Death. Babies exposed to cocaine may also be premature, suffer urinary tract abnormalities or even be at risk for stroke while still in the womb. Babies exposed to heroin may be born prematurely, with the common respiratory and digestive problems due to early birth. Infants exposed prenatally to methamphetamine have been shown to suffer higher levels of central nervous system abnormalities as well cardiovascular and intestinal problems.Help your loved one see the consequences and to get the help they need in order to be able to care for their child.
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