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.
Morris, M., Seibold, C., & Webber, R. (2012, April). Drugs and having babies: An exploration of how a specialist clinic meets the needs of chemically dependent pregnant women. Midwifery, 28(2), 163-72. Retrieved from http://ebscohost.com.ezproxy.hsc.usf.edu/ehos
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.
Many researches are educating pregnant women about the danger of cigarettes, alcohol and the potential negative effects of cigarettes, alcohol on fetus development. However, scarce research directly addresses specific effects of marijuana on pregnant women because women who use marijuana also tend to smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol and more likely to use other drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Thus, it is difficult to identify the precise effects of marijuana on pregnant women and on a fetus (Leemaqz, 2016.). Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United State (Murray & McKinney, 2014). According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 40-60% of marijuana users continue to use during pregnancy. Studies have also shown that marijuana crosses the placenta negatively affecting brain development, and increasing the risk of pre-term birth. Proposition 64, the California Marijuana Legalization Initiative for adult use just passed after the election, California is added into the list of 26 states legalizing marijuana for medical or recreational purpose which could increase the number of women using marijuana during pregnancy. Due to above evidences, doctors warn pregnant women, women planning to pregnancy and breastfeeding women that they should discontinue their use of marijuana and should consider alternative therapy.
It is important for midwives to be mindful that pregnant women who misuse substances such as alcohol while pregnant may be apprehensive about being judged by healthcare
Methadone maintenance therapy is the primary go to source for addicts looking to quit the street drug, heroin. Methadone on it's own has its own number of controversies within society. However add on the fact that a number of patients that attend the meth clinic that is pregnant, well this can add additional controversy and raise ethical implications as well. Ultimately the child is better off when not being subjected to harmful substances such as drugs an alcohol. However when given the choice of heroin or methadone, we will examine what the benefits of methadone maintenance therapy can provide the mother, and the fetus. Methadone clinics provide a safe form of the drug with clean needles which helps cut the spread of HIV/AIDS among the population. While the client is at the clinic it is a good time to reach out and provide the future mother with resources that may help her once her child is born. Clinicians can also take advantage of this meeting time to reach out to the mother and inform her on the benefits of attending a treatment facility to help achieve sobriety.
The study consists of 322.218 pregnant women. They examined datasets containing personal medical information of the women. They used logistic regressions to examine associations between prescription drug use and maternal characteristics. (Smolina, K., Hanley, G., Mintzes, B., Oberlander, T., Morgan, S., 2015).
The use of illicit drugs and abuse of alcohol exact a steep price from our society. Substance abuse is a factor in many serious ills such as crime. More upsetting, however, is the affects that it has on children born affected from their dependent mothers. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that 60 percent of women of childbearing age consume alcoholic beverages despite the fact that alcohol consumption during pregnancy is implicated in a wide range of birth defects and developmental disabilities, including mental retardation, physical abnormalities, and visual and auditory impairments. (Nevitt, 1996)
In animal experiments THC has also been reported to lower levels of female hormones and disturb the menstrual cycle. When monkeys, rats, and mice are exposed during pregnancy to amounts of THC equivalent to a heavy human smoker’s dose, stillbirths and decreased birth weight are sometimes reported in their offspring. There are also reports of low birth weight, prematurity, and even a condition resembling the fetal alcohol syndrome in some children of women who smoke marijuana heavily during pregnancy. The significance of these reports is unclear because
This is a summary of a research article. I definitely feel that this research article has importance to both the public and students of the field of psychology because there are a lot of men and women that believe marijuana use during pregnancy has no effect on the child. This type of ignorance and unawareness is what negatively affects children born into this world. Both the public and students are able to see that just because a child is born with no obvious illnesses or abnormalities, doesn’t mean that they will not be affected later on in life. Many people are unaware of the fact that prenatal marijuana exposure can lead to
In the United States, there has been a growing concern for the number of newborn children that have been exposed to drugs while in utero. The defenseless fetus is subject to any and all substances that the mother ingests, injects, or inhales into her body. Significantly decreased gestational ages as well as low birth weight have been linked to infants that have been born to mothers who are engaging in substance abuse. Marijuana, cocaine, cigarettes, methamphetamine, heroin, and alcohol are some of the more widely abused substances among pregnant mothers (Bailey, McCook, Hodge, & McGrady, 2012).
Problematic substance use in pregnancy is prevalent among the Canadian population. The statistics are well documented in the literature. According to a Health Quality Ontario report from 2012, about one in 100 pregnant women giving birth in Ontario hospitals shows substance use. The rate of substance abuse among pregnant women has increased since 2009 by about ten percent. Dow et al. (2012) identify that the management of substance use is particularly problematic in Northern Ontario. Many First Nations communities are in a state of emergency regarding abuse of prescription narcotics (Dow et al., 2012, p. 489).
All communities nationwide, and especially high-risk women in their childbearing years, need better information about the dangers of drinking during pregnancy. But most health care providers are unfamiliar with and untrained in the issues of substance abuse
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is an increasing problem in our world today. At least 5,000 infants are born each year with FAS, or about one out of every 750 live births, which is an alarming number. In the United States there has been a significant increase in the rate of infants born with FAS form 1 per 10,000 births in 1979 to 6.7 per 10,000 in 1993 (Chang, Wilikins-Haug, Berman, Goetz 1). In a report, Substance Abuse and the American Woman, sent out by the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, at least one of every five pregnant women uses alcohol and/or other drugs during pregnancy (http:/www.nofas.org/stats.htm). Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) refers to a group of physical and mental birth defects that are the
The birth mother had reduced her daily suboxone intake by 80% however, she was smoking marijuana every couple of hours throughout her pregnancy, and the relationship between the birth parents had improved to the point that they married. Research regarding the use of marijuana during pregnancy is not conclusive. However, there is some evidence that marijuana can have and effect cognitively and on memory. Yve was also in the NICU for almost a month, though she was born seven weeks early and had to still learn how suck, swallow and breathe before she could be