How Your Drug Problem Affects Your Baby

There’s a saying that goes, “pregnancy means you’re eating for two”. But really, it’s much more than that. When you’re pregnant, everything you eat, drink, and even breathe can influence the health of your baby. Pregnancy is an extremely stressful time in any woman’s life. Unfortunately, drug use can complicate and endanger your life and your baby’s life. If you feel like your addiction is too difficult to deal with, help is always available to ensure a healthy life for you and your baby.

Is it Safe to Use Drugs During My Pregnancy?
Although research is still being conducted, it is clear that most drugs are considered harmful to your baby. Often, your drug addiction can cause deformities and developmental problems for your baby that is growing in your womb. Your drug addiction can also cause you to develop dangerous diseases associated with pregnancy and your placenta.

What is a Placenta?
Although this may seem like Latin gibberish, the placenta is something that develops in your womb with your baby. Some people call it the ‘afterbirth’. It is considered an organ and it helps give nutrients, oxygen, and blood from your body to your baby’s body before it is born. It is made up of very large number of blood vessels that create a “bed” against the wall of your womb. Many drugs affect how your placenta works and thus, affect your baby.

Effects of the Different Drugs

‘Weed’ is the most widely used illegal substance in the United States. Using marijuana during pregnancy can cause you to go into preterm labor which means your baby is born before it is fully grown; being underdeveloped carries many risks for the baby, such as lung disease and brain developmental problems. It can cause your baby to have behavioral problems e.g. inconsolable crying, anxious or easily startled nature. With all of these complications, your baby has an increase in the risk of something called Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or cot death.

‘Crystal meth’ is extremely harmful to your baby and should never be taken while pregnant. It is also important to remember, though, that it is never too late to stop and that there is addiction treatment at licensed facilities available. Crystal meth causes your placenta to stop working and can even cause it to detach from your womb. This is called ‘placental abruption’ and it causes severe bleeding that can kill both you and your baby. Your baby also has an increased risk of being born premature. He or she may become addicted to the drug; this means that when he or she is born, he or she will have to go through difficult withdrawal.

Cocaine is dangerous both during pregnancy and not. It can use miscarriages, intrauterine growth restriction, prematurity, immaturity of organs, and placental abruption. It can also increase the risk of your baby having learning difficulties later in life.

Addiction to heroin and opioid-derived painkillers like codeine or Tramadol is very high risk – but quitting on your own can be extremely dangerous for both of you as well. Medical or professional help is the safest and best addiction treatment. Difficulties breathing, growing and maturing, permanent brain damage, preterm labor, miscarriage, or even stillbirth are some of the effects associated with heroin and opioid use. Your baby may also suffer from the painful withdrawal syndrome after birth.

Can I Get Help?
If you feel like you need treatment for your addiction, you can start by talking to your doctor or midwife. They can give you the right medical advice to help you get the best care during this difficult time. There are many facilities and rehabilitation centers that offer addiction treatment and can help you overcome your addiction. They will provide you with direct care and support to help you take back control and begin to create a bright future for you and your baby.

How Can They Help Me?
Professional rehabilitation facilities and their programs are designed to not only help you overcome drugs for your pregnancy but to ensure long-lasting, maybe even life-long, sobriety. With access to professional counsellors, educational therapy, art therapy, and qualified doctors, facilities like Beachside Rehab can offer you safe, effective, and confidential addiction treatment.

Don’t be afraid to take the first step – the counsellors and doctors at these facilities won’t judge you, they will respect you for choosing to value your and your baby’s life. Start moving into a future with a healthier, happier you and your healthy, happy baby.