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Drugs & Health Blog

Using Drugs When Pregnant Harms the Baby

Sara Bellum

Did you know that using alcohol, cigarettes, and illegal drugs during pregnancy can harm the mother and her baby? Everything a pregnant woman eats, drinks, or takes affects the baby. Using drugs can hurt the baby’s growth or even cause the baby to get sick.

About 1 in 6 pregnant teen girls (ages 15 to 17) used illegal drugs between 2008 and 2009. Below are just a few of the problems a baby can face if the mother drinks alcohol or uses drugs while she is pregnant.

Cigarettes: Pregnant women who smoke expose their babies to nicotine and the dangerous chemicals in cigarettes. If the mother smokes, her baby may:

  • Be born early (a preemie)
  • Develop an addiction to nicotine
  • Have breathing and behavioral problems
  • Die before it is born or in the first year of life

Secondhand smoke can also be harmful to a baby. The baby is more likely to develop problems breathing, ear infections, and cavities.

Alcohol: Drinking alcohol while pregnant can cause babies to be born with illnesses. These children may:

  • Have problems seeing and hearing
  • Be born too small
  • Struggle with eating and sleeping
  • Have problems in school with learning and paying attention

Illegal drugs: Pregnant women who use illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine, Ecstasy, meth, or heroin can cause lifelong harm to their babies. Drug use can cause babies to:

  • Be born early
  • Grow slowly
  • Have withdrawal symptoms, including fever, vomiting, poor sleep, and shaking
  • Have heart problems or a stroke
  • Suffer lifelong disabilities

If you have been using drugs and think you might be pregnant, stop using the drug and talk to a doctor as soon as possible. (Exception: If you use heroin and you are pregnant, you will need to see a doctor to help you gradually get off the drug—if you stop too suddenly, it can harm the baby.) There are programs that can help teen moms stop using drugs and get healthy for their babies.

Comments

Why does any mother want to try drugs if you know that it would harm their baby and themselves. If you want to get killed by drug addiction, fine. But don't bring your kids into this.
people do drugs because of stress amd you are right why bring your children or even unborn children into what u have to go through.dont kill your children before they even become brought into this world
Im only 16 so i don't know to much about it but what i do know is me and all 15 of my siblings were born with drugs in our system. When i was younger i was on all kinds of meds and my parents just dopped me up more. Then when i went into foster care then took me off all the meds. My little siblings had it too, but the worse is my 2 year old brother he had every stage of drugs in his system the called him "a crack baby" my point is my mom lost all her children and is still on drugs. Drugs is a powerful thing, yes i hate what my mom did to all of us. But that not really my mom thats a women trapped so far down into drugs that she doesnt even realise that shes doing why she is pregnant and she seems no harm.
firstly this blog is perfect and thanks for useful article.I call the pregnant women from here.please when you are pregnant dont use alchol cigarettes and drug. please stop using them.you harm your babies.you dont have right this.
Well, all of those are really bad even if we are not pregnant. So, don't hurt our baby. Thanks for sharing. :)
Wow what a fantastic article, so impressed your a great writer!
um i dont know about that
I'm Pregant and this helps so much
that is a horrible thing to do
why would someone do that its horrible
i mean dont do drug and u got a kid because when thay get older ur not gonna want them to smoke hopefuly
thats so helpful. thank you so much
NOT HELPFULL AT ALL!!!!!!!!!
Why would someone want to do that why they have a kid and even if your not pregnet or not you still shouldn't do it that is. That is very nasty.
If you want to have a baby and you like drugs then do if after the baby is born because if you don't then the baby will probably want to do the things that you have done a lot while you are pregnant with the baby cause the baby might want to do the drugs that you were on when you had the baby but it doesn't matter if you stop doing the he/she could still be addicted to the ones that you were and that they are verry bad for the baby.
y do u people do stuff like this it is bad for ur baby
How could someone do that to a Hilda not even born yet
Any time of Addiction is difficult to correct,it is the duty of the persons near to addict the family members,close friends to show care,love and affectionate for the addict, raising his/her self-esteem. Alcohol Awareness Novato
I have to give the author of this article credit. Most often these articles only center upon illicit drugs and fail to include tobacco and alcohol. Many people do not know that smoking poses just as great if not greater harm than cocaine or meth use while pregnant. Alcohol can in fact be deadly (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) Also great advice about seeking medical advice concerning heroin use while pregnant, but should have included all opiate pain killers and benzodiazepines. Prenatal care has the greatest influence leading to positive pregnancies.
There are a few posts on here that are just wrong, First yes doing drugs is Bad,and unhealthy to both the mother and the fetus. But what a lot of people DO NOT understand is that drug/alcohol abuse is a disease, when a person is using it is very hard to stop and especially teen moms who might be scared on top of it all to turn for help. These addicts have underlying mental health issues, and those issues need to get treated as well, otherwise the addict will go right back to using. It is proven that there is brain issues that have shown up on brain scans of an addict. So when people say oh when your pregnant you should just stop, an addict cannot just stop no matter how much they want to especially addicts addicted to heroin. Heroin is a physically addicting substance and have harmful effects to baby and mother when just stopping. So before badmouthing addicted teen/adult moms read up on the facts. This right here, these discouraging comments are exactly what turns addicted pregnant women away from getting the help they need.. to the author great write up..It is very informative and full of good facts.. Also maybe you could write an additional piece that gives these women numbers/ websites so they have it so they can reach out for the help they need. :-). Thank you.
Ya and what about a pregnant woman injecting subutex and smoking city's baby was born at 6 1/2 pounds nothing seems to be wrong would u think there can be problems down the road for them?

K, someone using Subutex is likely doing so under a doctor's supervision.  Doctors carefully consider the risk and benefits of prescribing Subutex for each patient and do what they feel is best for the health of mom and baby.  

wow heading this helps nothing

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