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.
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.
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.
There are many expecting mothers who suffer from serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or borderline personality disorder that requires they must take antipsychotic drugs to remain stable. There are different types of antipsychotics like typical and atypical. Typical antipsychotics are classified as the first generation of antipyschotics. The atypical antipsychotics, the second generation, are reported to be safer than the typical antipsychotics because they are the newer form of antipsychotic medication. Even though they are reported to be safer, they still have severe side effects on the individual consuming it, like tardive dyskinesia, which are uncontrollable movements of the mouth (McCauley et al., 2009). Some drugs can affect the fetus by transferring to the blood-brain barrier. The blood-brain barrier is a permeable barrier that allows some chemicals to pass through. It separates the circulating blood from the brain extracellular fluid in the central nervous system. The blood-brain barrier also transports molecules to the brain that are essential to function properly, like glucose and amino acids. Since capillary endothelial cells, which line the whole circulatory system, form the blood-brain barrier the medication could be transported to the fetus. From
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).
Many mothers wonder whether it is safe to take antidepressants while they are breastfeeding. The best way for you to determine whether it is safe for you to continue taking antidepressants while you are nursing is to consult with your physician. Below is a list of things that have to be considered when determining whether it is safe for you to continue to take antidepressants while breastfeeding:
According to two recent studies, 7-13% of all postpartum women suffer from depression. Even more alarming, the prevalence of postpartum depression (PPD) in mothers who have pre-term infants rises to 30-40% according to a recent review (Robertson E, Grace S, Wallington T, Stewart DE., 2004; Schmied V, Johnson M, Naidoo N, et al., 2013). Mood and anxiety disorders, specifically PPD, are severe, yet common complications in women of reproductive age. Undertreated depression in postpartum women is associated with health risks for both the mother and infant, making the goal of euthymia a top priority in the care of postpartum women. Current practice regarding PPD focuses on the triad approach of early detection and prevention, the use of pharmacotherapy, and the use of psychotherapy. However, the treatment of mental illness during pregnancy requires weighing the benefits of pharmacological treatment for the mother, to the risk of the medications on the growth and development of the fetus as well as the theoretical risks associated with undertreated depression. However, many studies are showing that the risks of postpartum depression to both the mother and infant significantly outweigh the risks of pharmacological treatment during pregnancy. Also, due to the ethical issues surrounding trials of pharmacotherapy during pregnancy, further research to determine evidenced-based methods of treatment are still necessary. The most important intervention to date is a
(Stewart, D.E., Robertson, E., Dennis, G.L., Grace, S.L. & Wallington, T. 2003) If we can prevent perinatal to avoid adverse effects on both the mother and child, there is evidence that preventive intentions are efficacious for perinatal depression. The research
“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
Low Birthweight: a baby born weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces is considered as with low birthweight two main reasons are responsible for a birth of baby with low birthweight: premature birth and fetal growth restriction. Other medical risk factors leading to the low birthweight include: preterm labor, chronic health conditions, infections, problems with the placenta, not gaining enough weight during pregnancy and having a low birthweight infant in the past. Along with medical risk factors there are other risk factors of everyday life associated with low birthweight newborn: smoking, drinking alcohol, drug abuse, little or no education, low income or being unemployed (March of Dimes,
There are some factors that may influence the health and development. Smoking can affect the babies’ oxygen in the womb which could affect the growth and development, low birth weight, high risk of prematurely (birth before week’s gestation), asthma and may lead to cot death. Genetic factors – when the baby has condition, which means that it has been passed down to them by one of their parents. Infections and medical conditions – some babies have medical condition which may affect them during their childhood. This could lead the babies having low self-esteem, feeling distress, not making friends and effect their development. Alcohol – having alcohol during pregnancy can cause Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). This could lead
The third environmental factor that is said to cause ASD is the use of antidepressants during pregnancy. This study included 298 children with ASD and 1507 children without ASD as the control group from Northern California using the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program (KPNC). This focused on the years of 1995 to 1999 and babies that were born at KPNC. Mothers during the 3 months before the last menstrual period (LMP) were given one of 3 different antidepressant medications. The first medication contained SSRI’s, next medication contained serotonin-noradrenergic-reuptake inhibitors and other dual-action antidepressants, the last type of antidepressant which contains hydrochloride is tricyclic. Starting from preconception all the way to the delivery of the child the mothers were given antidepressant medication for 4 times over a one year time frame.
The authors of this specific article states in the very beginning that government agencies have issued warnings about the use of antidepressant medications in children, adolescents, and young adults since 2003. They explain that the warnings consist of statements that warn that such medications may cause suicidal tendencies in some people. The article’s authors explore the data on the treatment of depression that led to these warnings, and, also, the subsequent data that are relevant to the warnings. The authors also address the effectiveness
The relationship between maternal depression and its’ impact on infant health has been studied extensively