Posted by Steps to Recovery on December 21, 2012

Just as with alcohol, women should avoid using drugs while carrying an unborn child. Because the woman’s blood supply is shared with the baby while he or she is in the womb, whatever the woman puts into her body, the baby receives as well. Using drugs such as heroin, meth, cocaine or even misusing prescription drugs during pregnancy can have severe long term consequences for the mother and particularly for the unborn child.

A study called the National Survey on Drug Use and Health that was conducted in the US between 2008 and 2009 concluded that 4.5% of pregnant women between the ages of 15 and 44 had used illicit drugs in the month prior to the survey. In the United States, it is very common knowledge that using drugs while pregnant is not in the best interest of the health of the mom or the baby. Sadly, this shows that despite knowing this could hurt their babies, these women still chose to use these substances during pregnancy.

Drugs such as cocaine, heroin, meth and even prescription pills that are misused during pregnancy pose significant risk to the mother and the unborn child. Each drug is different but they can all result in a number of serious health issues which can lead to stillbirth or a plethora of physical and mental disorders when the baby is born or later in life. Before choosing to use drugs during pregnancy, please consider the possible side effects your baby could experience, such as: hindered physical growth, learning disabilities, behavioral disabilities, tremors, muscle spasms, vomiting, diarrhea, low blood sugar and breathing difficulties.

Using drugs puts the addict in risky situations. IV drug users are at a high risk for contracting HIV which can cause serious health problems and even death, and can be passed on to the unborn child as well. When people are using drugs, they usually don’t take good care of themselves, they may not drink enough water or eat enough which can cause a number of health problems for the mom and baby both. Judgement is often reduced in drug users, hindering their decision making process which may land them in dangerous situations while trying to score drugs or just in general.

If you are pregnant and addicted to drugs, there is help available. It is very important that you reach out for help immediately, for your own wellbeing and that of your unborn child. With proper support and treatment, you can overcome your addiction.