Drug Rehab For Pregnant Mothers
So, you’re pregnant or hoping to become pregnant. Do you want to know more about a drug rehab for pregnant women? First of all, you need to consider how the world around you and most importantly your actions will affect your baby during the forty (40) weeks, approximately, this new life will live and develop inside you.
How does my body create a baby?
After fertilization the egg attaches to the rich blood supply lining of the uterus where it needs oxygen and nutrients or energy. The mother’s body, your body, will supply all of these to create fully formed baby.
How does my baby feed and grow?
As the baby grows inside the placenta, the mother’s blood supply is connected to the baby’s through the umbilical cord at the belly button. Oxygen, proteins, fats and carbohydrates, as well as antibodies and immunity will pass from you to your baby.
How does my baby breathe?
A baby takes it first breath when born. Until then the mother’s blood supplies oxygen to baby.
What happens to a baby if the mother uses drugs, alcohol, nicotine or other toxins during pregnancy?
The mother is the baby’s life support. Everything that you eat, or drink or breathe; any substance that you put into your body can be passed from you to your unborn baby. This is the reason that doctors prescribe a healthy diet, regular sleep, exercise and vitamins during pregnancy.
Using drugs might have devastating for your baby. A number of substances and drugs which a mother may use are unsafe for her baby. Illegal, street drugs as well as alcohol, nicotine, tobacco and miss-used prescriptions are a problem for both the mother and her child.
How common is drug use during pregnancy?
Approximately 5 percent or one out of twenty women will use a street drug while she is pregnant. A drug rehab for pregnant mothers can offer help for those struggling with substance abuse. Often times a couple uses drugs together and find it difficult to get sober together. a couples drug rehab allows both individuals to receive care at the same time.
What kinds of drugs are considered to be street drugs?
- Ecstasy, methamphetamine and other club drugs
- Prescription drugs that are abused
Are The Effects of Drugs Harmful To an Unborn Baby?
They can be. Any drug that is used while you are pregnant will pass from the mother to her baby. Street drugs are particularly troublesome and can cause numerous problems and complications for your baby including:
Infertility or difficulty in conceiving.
Placental abruption or premature detachment of the placenta . Through the umbilical cord the placental supplies your baby with food and oxygen. Certain drugs can increase the risk that the placenta will separate from the wall of the uterus before birth depriving the baby of oxygen and other nutrients and causing heavy bleeding for the mother.
Miscarriage Preterm Labor Miscarriage. A child dies inside of you at twenty weeks or less is called a preterm labor Miscarriage. After twenty weeks the proper term is Stillbirth.
Premature labor: Labor begins before the thirty-seventh week
Premature birth: A baby is born before thirty-seven weeks
Low birth weight: A birth weight of less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces.
Micocephaly or Reduced head circumference: When born the baby has smaller-than-normal head size
Developmental delays: Babies exposed to drugs might be slow to develop and have problems, eating, sleeping, seeing hearing and moving
Birth Defects: Drug exposure can lead to defects that alter the shape or function of the baby’s body, affecting general health and interfering with how the baby’s body develops.
Infections: Hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS and Zika are viruses which most commonly mothers who use and/or share needles to inject drugs. Since mother and child share a single blood supply during pregnancy these and other viruses can be passed the fetus. Babies who have been exposed to Zika might be born with micocephaly or other brain problems.
Neonatal abstinence syndrome (also called NAS). Your baby might be born addicted to or dependent on drugs the mother has used. The following drugs cause NAS
- Pain medicine (prescription opioids)
- Heroin (illegal opioids)
- Certain drugs for anxiety or sleep, like Xanax® or Valium®
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS): A child dies for no apparent reason while sleeping.
Behavioral and learning problems:
- Growth that is slower than normal
- memory problems
- difficulties and problems getting along with others
- trouble learning or paying attention
- use or misuse drugs or develop an addiction
I Used More Than One Drug. How Will Each Particular Drug Affect My Baby?
Mothers who are use, are addicted to or who experiment with drugs may have other habits which are not healthy for their baby. Smoking, drinking alcohol and/or a poor diet can harm your baby.
Woman who use streets drugs have an increased risk of getting a sexually transmitted disease which can hurt your baby. When you use drugs during or before your pregnancy, your child might need special care for the whole of their lives. Enter a drug rehab for pregnant women for immediate assistance for drugs or alcohol to reduce the risks.
What are the risks for the mother?
If you use drugs when pregnant you have a greater chance of anemia, blood, heart and skin infections, hepatitis, infections and sexually transmitted diseases.
How long do drugs stay the mother and baby’s blood stream?
Drugs will remain in a fetus system for a much longer time than an adult.
How long do drugs stay in a baby’s umbilical cord?
The detection period can only be done for the last four and a half month before the baby is born.
Such test cannot show when, how often or how much used,
What Drugs Cause Birth Defects?
While not a complete list, drugs or drug groups (called teratogenic drugs) that might cause birth defects include:
- ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors
- Angiotensin II antagonist
- Isotretinoin (an acne drug)
- High doses of vitamin A
- Male hormones
- Some antibiotics
- Some anticonvulsant medications
- Some cancer-fighting medications
- Some drugs that treat certain rheumatic conditions
- Some thyroid medications
- The blood-thinning drug warfarin
- The hormone diethylstilbestrol (DES).
This list is not complete. The effects of illegal drugs are not uncertain as additional medical studies need to be done.
Marijuana – What is its affect my baby?
Toxins in marijuana smoke increase carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide your blood. These pass in to the baby’s blood where they can stop the baby from receiving enough oxygen to grow properly.
Using Marijuana creates a greater risk of miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, delays in development, cognitive, learning and behavioral disabilities.
What if I smoked marijuana, but stopped as soon as I knew I was pregnant?
Dr. Richard S. Abram, author of Will it Hurt the Baby,
If you think that you might be pregnant, you should, immediately, stop smoking. Taking this step will lower the odds of any harm to the fetus.
Cocaine – What is Its Affect To My Baby?
Infants born to cocaine-using mothers are more likely to have low birth weight and may have an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The effects of cocaine on the baby may include, but are not limited to:
Setting aside the problems of consuming an illegal substance, if the mother uses cocaine in any form during her pregnancy, the drug will travel into the baby’s system. Once there, the cocaine will stay in your baby’s blood for a much longer time than it would in the mother’s because the fetus eliminates the drug more slowly than an adult.
Cocaine use in early pregnancy causes an increased risk of miscarriage, preterm delivery and high blood pressure. Later on, cocaine may cause placental abruption resulting in severe blood loss, premature birth and even the death of the baby. And, if the mother often uses cocaine she has a significantly greater risk (25% increased chance) that her baby will be born with a birth defect
Organization of Teratology Information Services (OTIS),
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecology (ACOG),
If you use contain cocaine during your pregnancy your baby may be born with a smaller head and growth restriction. Other defects of the brain, kidneys and genitals can occur as well as hyperactivity, behavioral and learning problems.
Your baby could be dependent on the drug, which means the newborn child might suffer withdrawal and have problems such as muscle spasms, tremors, difficulty feeding and sleeplessness. Some experts also think children who experienced prenatal exposure to cocaine may have learning disabilities as they grow up.
What if I consumed cocaine before I knew I was pregnant?
Studies documenting the negative effects of using cocaine during pregnancy have focused most on the results of long term and repeated use of the drug. Studies of the effect of a single dose of cocaine have not been conclusive. A best course of action is to avoid the drug before and during pregnancy.
Heroin – What is its Affect To My Baby?
As with other drugs, heroin will pass from you to your unborn child. You risk premature birth and low birth weight. Other difficulties include hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), intracranial hemorrhage (bleeding within the brain) and death.
Heroin and other opiates, including methadone, can cause significant withdrawal in the baby, with some symptoms lasting several weeks. Babies born to opiate-addicted mothers are at higher risk for apnea (stopping breathing) and SIDS. These babies also have feeding difficulties.
Could My Baby Be Born Addicted to Heroin?
Because heroin is addictive, your baby could be born also dependent on the drug. Withdrawal might involve fever, abnormal sleep, pain and stiffness, diarrhea and convulsions.
What Are The Other Risks?
Infants of mothers addicted to opiates have increased risks for apnea and SIDS. Your baby might also experience trouble feeding.
What if I injected narcotics using a needle?
There is a higher incidence of HIV among mothers who use needles to inject heroin (or other drugs). And the virus can be passed on to your baby.
I’m addicted, what do I do?
Heroin addiction and detox are complicated medical issues. Pregnancy adds another layer of risks for both mothers and their babies. Speak with a doctor or other medical provider as soon as possible. Listen to their plans to treat you and your baby and follow their advice.
PCP & LSD – What Are the Affects My Baby?
Using either of these drugs may cause violent hallucinations and behavior during which either the mother or her baby might be harmed.
PCP may cause low birth weight, poor muscle control, brain damage, and withdrawal syndrome if used frequently. Withdrawal symptoms include lethargy, alternating with tremors.
LSD can cause to birth defects with recurring use,
What is the risk to my baby if I didn’t know I was pregnant and I used LSD or PCP?
At this time, conclusive studies have not been done on the increased risk of harming your baby if you experiment, perhaps only once, with either drug. If you are pregnant, suspect you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant you should refrain from using LSD or PCP.
Methamphetamine- What is its affect my baby?
Chemically related to amphetamine, methamphetamine raises the heart rate of both mother and baby, lowers the amount oxygen that the baby receives and its uses may lead to a low birth weight. The chances of a mother having a miscarriage, premature labor and preterm birth or placental abruption increase.
Newborns exposed to these drugs in pregnancy often have signs of withdrawal, such as jitteriness, trouble sleeping and feeding, as well as later problems with tremors and muscle tone. They may also be at higher risk for SIDS.
Can my baby be born addicted to Methamphetamine?
Yes, your baby could be born with dependency or addiction to methamphetamine pregnancy. Withdrawing from meth causes jitteriness, sleeplessness, feeding difficulties, tremors, muscle spasms, and later on, some experts believe, difficulties in learning. Babies exposed to methamphetamine might be at greater risk for SIDS.
What if it was a one-time use?
Relevant studies of one-time use have not been conducted. . If you are pregnant, suspect you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant you should refrain from using methamphetamine.
What if I used drugs but stopped?
If you stop taking illegal drugs in the first trimester of your pregnancy you will significantly increase your chance of delivering a healthy newborn.
Laws About Pregnancy and Substance Abuse
Are there ways for a doctor to know that a woman has been using drugs?
A test performed in a laboratory on a mother’s urine can determine if a number of drugs are present in the mother, including marijuana and cocaine.
What does the law say if my child is born and tests positive for a controlled substance?
In the United States many new mothers have found themselves facing charges of child abuse and other crimes. The laws regarding testing for these drugs are different from state to state but the consequences can be very high.
Will I go to prison?
A new mother might be given a chance to enter rehab rather than a jail sentence, but women can and have lost their children and or found themselves serving jail time. Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin the policy enforced is admission to an treatment program
Will I lose my child or children?
In a number of states, legislators expanded the civil rights of children. Abusing drugs while you are pregnant may be cause you to lose your parental rights for abuse and neglect.
In South Carolina and Alabama the high courts have allowed prosecutions of women who used drugs while pregnant under statutes which prohibit child and chemical endangerment.
In 2014 Tennessee became the only state in which substance abuse while pregnant is specifically a criminal offense but other states have tried to charge mothers with neglect or endangerment.
Currently, in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin using drugs while you are pregnant is considered grounds for take away your rights as parent.
- Indiana: releasing drug use information requires the woman’s consent
- Missouri a positive test for drugs within 8 hours after a birth combined with an earlier
- conviction for child abuse or neglect make a mother an unfit parent unless she has completed a recommended abuse program.
- Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Rhode Island require tests for drug exposure.
In which states have women have been prosecuted for drug use during pregnancy?
Alabama, Alabama, South Carolina, and Tennessee Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Gegoria, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
How can you keep your baby safe from street drugs?
Don’t use or abuse drugs, most especially street drugs. If you are using drugs, stop the moment you know or suspect that you might be pregnant. Stop using if want to become pregnant.
If you are using heroin or abusing prescription opioids, seek medical attention in order to quit. Stopping suddenly (cold turkey) might trigger severe symptoms for you and your baby and could result in infant death.
How will a doctor or rehab center help?
Your doctor can help you with a treatment plan. A rehab facility can treat heroin and opioid dependency with methadone or buprenorphine and slowly reduce your dependency lessening withdrawal symptoms so that you and your baby are safe.
How can I get help?
Talk to your doctor or another health-care provider. There are options for treatment such as counseling, support groups, rehab facilities and hospitals, treatment programs and 12 step programs.
Who can I call for help?
You could also contact:
Substance Abuse Treatment Facility Locator Drug Help Hotline (800) 662-4357
Where can I find more information on line?
American Council for Drug’s Education, https://www.acde.org/
March of Dimes, https://www.marchofdimes.com/
The Alan Guttmacher Institute, https://www.guttmacher.org/