Drug And Substance Abuse During Pregnancy

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Introduction Drug and substance abuse have been the prevalent world over among pregnant women. Past studies had shown that this could have an adverse effect on the child development. UNICEF (2007) was at the forefront of agitating against drug and substance abuse during pregnancy. Studies had also found out that more than 20% of mothers in the United States alone had smoked during pregnancy (Coles, 2010).Alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, cocaine, prescription drugs and heroin are some of the drugs that were singled out to have been abused by various mothers during pregnancy (National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2015). According to National Institute of Health (2015), drug abuse was found to have interfered with the child development on the areas…show more content…
The first stage can also be called the prenatal stage. It covers the growth of the child from conception to birth. At this stage, most of the organs are developed. The child acquires his/her food from the mother through the placenta. These food nutrients come through the blood stream. An alcoholic or smoking mother may pass some traces of the drugs to the child. These traces can alter the process of child development significantly. At the second stage of 0 to 12 months, the child still depends entirely on the mother 's care. A drug addict mother may expose the infant to a lot of dangers. Lastly from one year to preschool and later the child can now be left in the hands of the caregiver and later may start school. Drug addicted parents affect these stages of development differently. Physical growth Alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, use of marijuana and cocaine had been found to result in low weight of the child at birth (National Institute of Health, 2015, National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2015, American Academy of Pediatrics, 2014). Children born to alcoholic mothers had been found to suffer from retardation after birth. Besides, the rate of physical growth of these children was significantly lower than those who were not exposed to drugs (Cleaver, Aldgate, & Unell, 2011). Drug abuse during pregnancy had also increased the risk of amnionitis, precipitous labor, and emergency caesarean section. These conditions can lead to a child born
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