Illicit Drug Use During Pregnancy
Illicit Drug Use During Pregnancy
Kathryn J. Shaw (Maternal-Fetal Medicine, White Memorial Medical Center, Los Angeles) gives expert video advice on: How will cocaine use during pregnancy affect my baby?; What are the risks of use of ecstasy and other amphetamines during pregnancy? and more...
What are the risks of using cocaine during pregnancy?
The risks of using cocaine in pregnancy are many. First of all, cocaine is known to cause narrowing or spontaneous contraction of the blood vessels, which is very detrimental to the developing foetus. Some of the problems that can be associated with cocaine are immediate events during pregnancy, and there are some effects of cocaine that are only identified later in that infant's life. During pregnancy cocaine can cause preterm labour that results in an early delivery. Cocaine can also cause something called placental abruption. The placenta is the lifeline of the developing foetus, it's what connects the foetus to the mother. Cocaine is well recognized to cause that placenta to detach from the maternal uterus, which causes a stop in oxygen delivery, and can result in foetal death.
How will cocaine use during pregnancy affect my baby?
The long term affects of using cocaine during pregnancy for that infant and toddler are varied. Some may be fortunate and escape the affects of cocaine abuse, but the biggest concern relates to the educational difficulties, and behavioral difficulties, and cocaine has been associated with hyperactivity and other behavioral problems in a young child.
What are the risks of use of ecstasy and other amphetamines during pregnancy?
The risks associated with ecstasy or the use of any other amphetamine during pregnancy can be very dramatic for the developing foetus, and can also have long-term consequences for that child after delivery. Any amphetamine can cause a spasm of blood vessels in the individual using the drug, or in the uterus, thus affecting the foetus. The consequences of this to the developing foetus may be disorders in growth. Crystal or the other amphetamines can also cause preterm labour, which would result in early delivery. These drugs can also cause an entity referred to as placental abruption, which is an interference or disruption in the delivery of oxygen and other nutrients to the baby. Ecstasy and other amphetamines have all been associated with foetal death or stillbirth.
How will amphetamine use during pregnancy affect my baby?
Exposure to amphetamines in pregnancy can be very significant. The children who were exposed during their development can include behavioral disorders and learning disorders. The other issue that is important is the women who have abused amphetamines during their pregnancy have on occasion continued while breastfeeding and there have been neonatal deaths and infant deaths attributed to exposure through the breast milk.
What are the risks with use of heroin during pregnancy?
The risk of heroin use during pregnancy can be very dramatic at all points in pregnancy. Heroin in pregnancy has been associated with delays in fetal growth. This can affect all aspects of fetal development including brain growth and the size of the baby overall. After delivery these infants will go through a very dramatic heroin withdrawal that can be dangerous to the newborn.
What is the long-term outlook if my baby was exposed to heroin before birth?
The long-term outlook for an infant exposed to heroin in utero really will depend on the timing of the exposure. These infants can be at risk for mental difficulties and deficiencies later on as well as remaining small for size throughout their childhood due to heroin exposure.