The Effects of Drugs and Alcohol on Pregnant Women and Babies When hearing about babies born addicted to drugs or babies born after being previously exposed to alcohol, most people are appalled and slightly outraged. Pregnant women who are exposed to drugs and alcohol are risking the welfare of their unborn child because most everything the mother puts in her body gets passed on to the baby either by passing through the placental barrier or the umbilical cord. Drugs are considered any substance that makes a change to the physiological aspects of the body. Some drugs that affect pregnant women include caffeine, over the counter drugs, tobacco, and illegal drugs such as cocaine or methamphetamine. Based on the definition of a drug, alcohol is considered a drug. Alcohol has many adverse side effects for pregnant women and their babies. These adverse side effects from alcohol usually stay with these babies through their lives and have lasting effects. The use of substances that are considered to be drugs while pregnant is advised against because of the side effects caused to the baby. However, some women choose to ignore these advisements. What Are Drugs? Drugs are any substance that alters the physiology of the body. (McKim and Hancock 2013) Drugs can range from coffee to alcohol and the substances considered over the counter drugs to illegal drugs. A large number of substances deemed to be drugs have many addictive qualities. These addictive qualities lead to chronic
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysGet Access
The use of heroin, cocaine, and other illicit drugs has become a public health concern especially during pregnancy. Maternal substance abuse has become an issue during the crack epidemic in the 1980’s; however, there is an alarm rate of infants born addicted to heroin. More than 3.7% women have indicated the uses some form of illicit drugs during their pregnancy, as well as 1.9 % reports binge drinking (Bhuvaneswar el at., 2008; Grant el at., 2009). With this in mind, more than 375,000 infants are born to maternal substance abusers each year costing over $100,000 in medical expenses covered by the state (Reitman, 2002).
Substance abuse during pregnancy can have a negative force on the health and wellness of not only the fetus, but that of the mother. The harmful effects of medications, alcohol and illegal drugs on an unborn child can be devastating and can have significant consequences to its use. Sometimes the effects can be faced and treated, and other times the outcome is a lifelong challenge. During the prenatal period, it is important that new mothers are informed of the different types of abuse, how they may affect the fetus, and the adverse conditions their child may be faced with before and after birth.
Through the years, substance misuse in the United States has turned into an industrious issue influencing numerous people. In 2008, it was assessed that 17.8 million Americans beyond 18 years old where substance subordinate. Women who use medications during pregnancy can have an enduring impact on fetal. Medications can have an impact of maternal and child wellbeing, yet there are a lot of different variables, which influence it, poor social environment, nourishment, cleanliness, and sexual abuse. Regenerative interruption connected with heroin utilization has been shown in both and women and even low dosages of opiates can impede ordinary ovarian capacity and ovulation. The harm that goes hand in hand with substance utilization comes either straightforwardly from the impact of the medication itself or from issues identified with development and/or unexpected labor. The entanglements of jumbling components clamorous way of life, poor nourishment, liquor utilization and cigarette smoking influence the appraisal of the impacts of cocaine in pregnancy. In obstetric practice, 100% of pregnant women utilizing cocaine or heroin are cigarette smokers. Cigarette smoking is presumably the most well known manifestation of substance utilizes and is noteworthy corresponding considering ladies who use unlawful medications. Babies whose moms smoked in pregnancy have a tendency to have lower conception weights and diminished length, cranial and thoracic
The use of controlled substances throughout pregnancy is a very prevalent issue among society today. Controlled substances have devastating effects on not only the mothers using the substances, but also infants while they are in utero and after they are born. Many infants born to mothers, who are abusing drugs, suffer from life threatening illnesses and are forever affected through adulthood. Specifically, heroin is a common drug form that is often used during pregnancy and results in the life threatening effects mentioned above.
A drug is a substance that causes changes in how your body functions. When you swallow a pill, the pill dissolves in your digestive system and the drug is absorbed into your bloodstream. Many drugs are designed to
Drinking during pregnancy is often thought of as no big deal. However, drinking during pregnancy is a very big deal. An unborn baby’s life is in the hands of the mother. If she decides to drink, she is risking the unborn’s chances of being as smart and healthy as it can be. Drinking during pregnancy opens the doors to a variety of harmful effects on the mother and her unborn baby, and until this is brought out in the open with honesty, it cannot be prevented.
Considering the multitudes of things that could go wrong during a pregnancy, why would mothers consume alcohol despite the warnings of possible birth defects? Many are familiar with the "Just Say No" campaign spearheaded by Nancy Reagan in the 1980 's to prevent drug and alcohol use among teens. However, many turn a blind eye to the warnings of the surgeon general stating alcohol consumption during pregnancy can result in birth defects. When a pregnant woman consumes alcohol, she puts her fetus at risk from mild to severe physical, mental and cognitive disabilities. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is the term that is used to describe an array of disorders that occurs as a consequence of women consuming alcohol during pregnancy. There are many types of FASD including fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), partial fetal alcohol syndrome, alcohol-related birth defects(ARBD), alcohol-related neurodevelopment disorder(ARND), and neurobehavioral disorder associated with prenatal alcohol exposure. Although alcohol consumption during pregnancy is ill-advised, throughout the United States mothers continue to drink during pregnancy. Being FASD is the most preventable of developmental disabilities, I will examine the irreparable consequences of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and its behavioral, physical, cognitive and educational implications on the fetus and the family.
Whenever a mother drinks, her baby is at risk for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or Fetal Alcohol Effect. When a pregnant women drinks alcohol, her baby does too. It is not clear whether there is a threshold amount of alcohol that must be consumed before damage to the baby occurs. There is also no proof that small amounts of alcohol are safe.
In today’s society people are talking about babies being born to drugs, and how could a mother do that to their unborn child. Drug addiction is a very serious issue that needs more research. We are still learning the effects of substance abuse. One problem that needs to be looked at is are there enough Rehabilitation Centers, to help the women who are addicted to these different street drugs. Also doctor and nurses should not judge these women but instead give them the best prenatal care that can be provided. We need to see what harm and side affects it has on the mother and baby, so that we can be able to understand better how to treat these women and get them off drugs before they do harm their babies.
Even though there are many studies that highlight the damaging effects of maternal alcohol use on a fetus in utero, there are a multitude of other substances that are used by pregnant mothers that have similar and even, in some cases, more extreme repercussions such as marijuana, heroin, and cocaine. When speaking about pregnancy and drug use, the most common drug that comes to mind is alcohol. During 12 years of schooling, most people are exposed, at one point or another, to the idea of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and the detrimental effects of alcohol on a fetus in utero. The effects of maternal use of the aforementioned illicit drugs is less studied, partially because they are used less frequently. It is important, however, that as a population, we become more educated about these drugs and the potentially life threatening outcomes for babies in utero.
Substance abuse has been a worldwide problem at all levels of society since the beginning of time. Attention has been made toward the use of legal and illegal substance by pregnant women over the past several decades. Almost all drugs are known to cross the placenta and have some effect on the fetus. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (2013) the first studies of the effect of substances consumed by a pregnant women to the developing fetus were identified in the 1960’s of prenatal tobacco use. These studies opened the door to further research and studies. The effects of Alcohol and opiate use have been studied since the 1970’s (Jones, Smith, 1973) and the effects of a variety of other drugs have been studied since 1979 and early 1980’s (Flinnegan, 1979).
“Crack-babies” a media induced phenomena brought about by the climax of public outcry from the results of the 1980’s war on drugs. This term laid the foundation for biased prosecutions which sparked a political crusade during climate of the time. Thus exploiting the public’s fear of children born to substance addicted mother and creating a firestorm of litigation to prosecute pregnant drug addicts. According to Flavin, Paltrow (2010), current evidence points to public stigmas and prejudice as posing a greater danger to both maternal and fetal health than use of the drug itself. Leaving the question as to why addicted women are still publicly reviled for the outcomes of their circumstances. From this abhorrence stems the likelihood that
Drinking can also cause the baby to be born with certain features that are different from a non-alcoholic pregnant woman such as being skinny and the head size being smaller than
Many women, including teens, abuse drugs while they are pregnant. This rate is especially high to those who are homeless, underprivileged, or live in a broken home. In order for drug abusers to even have a chance at beating their addiction they have to have support whether it’s family, friends, or boyfriend/spouse. They must also let the abuser now all the consequences to themselves and the unborn child. There are many consequences when using drugs during pregnancy such as miscarriage, health risks to baby, and health risks to the mother. And learning disabilities and brain damage to the fetus.