Risks of Drug Abuse during Pregnancy

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. Heroin:
  • When a mother uses in the first trimester, babies are two times more likely to be born with defects in brain and spine.
  • If the mother uses late in her pregnancy, babies can be born addicted.
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Cocaine and Marijuana:
  • Developmental deficits
  • ADHD
  • Impaired language and learning skills
  • Behavioral problems in children
  • Doubles the risk of child becoming addicted to tobacco later in life
  • Low birth weight
  • Interferes with fetal oxygen supply
  • Increased risk for stillbirth
  • Infant mortality
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Preterm birth
  • Respiratory problems
  • Slowed fetal growth
-- National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Mayo Clinic

Symptoms of Babies Born Addicted to Drugs:

  • Irritability
  • Poor feeding
  • Rapid breathing
  • Seizures
  • Sleep problems
  • Slow weight gain
  • Stuffy nose, sneezing
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive crying or high-pitched crying
  • Excessive sucking
  • Fever
  • Hyperactive reflexes
-- National Institutes of Health

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