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Effects Of Drug Use During Pregnancy

When you struggle with drug abuse and get pregnant, you now have another life to consider, how your substance abuse will directly affect you. Drug use during pregnancy can put your baby at risk since the effects of the drugs are shared with your unborn baby. 

Fortunately, help is available when you want to stop abusing drugs through different drug rehab treatment programs. It is worth considering the benefits you and your unborn baby gain by completing a treatment program.

What Effects Do Drugs Have On The Mother?

During pregnancy, your body will increase the production of various hormones. The changes in hormone levels can affect your mental health even when you are not abusing substances. However, with drug use during pregnancy, the substances you abuse can alter how hormones are produced or even increase their effects.

As a result, you could experience mental health and physical health problems, such as:

  • Depression – Drug abuse can enhance the effects of depressive symptoms and cause you to become clinically depressed. 
  • Premature Detachment – This condition occurs when the fetus detaches from the vaginal wall before your estimated delivery date. 
  • Aborted Fetus – You could experience a spontaneous abortion where you go into labor, and your baby will be aborted before they are fully developed. 
  • Placenta Previa – This is a condition where the placenta drops lower in the uterus and blocks part of the cervix, making it difficult to give birth. 
  • Ruptured Fetal Membranes – The membranes surrounding the fetus can rupture and lead to infections for both you and your unborn baby. 
  • Stillbirth – Even if you manage to carry the baby full term, your drug abuse could result in the baby being stillborn. 

Symptoms of Drug Use During Pregnancy

You can experience various symptoms of drug use during pregnancy that indicate the drugs are affecting your unborn baby, such as:

  • Stomach Cramping
  • Vaginal Blood Spotting
  • Vaginal Bleeding
  • Vagnial Fluid Discharge
  • Back Pain
  • Extreme Emotional Mood Swings

What Effects Do Drugs Have on the Baby?

The effects on your unborn baby are never fully known until later when something goes wrong, or you give birth. So the only way to protect your baby from drug use during pregnancy is to seek help for your addiction. 

Whenever you abuse drugs, regardless of the amount, you are essentially giving them to your unborn baby too. Since your baby is still developing, they are more prone to the negative effects of substance abuse. As a result, your drug use could have severe effects on your baby as follows:

  • Low Birth Weight – If you manage to carry your baby to term, there is a high probability they will be born with a low birth weight which puts them at risk for other conditions. 
  • Addiction – Your baby can develop a dependence and addiction to the same drugs you abuse. 
  • Brain Damage – Your baby’s brain is still developing during pregnancy. The drugs you abuse affect brain development and could result in damage to different parts of the brain. 
  • Birth Defects – The likelihood of birth defects developing is much higher in babies exposed to drug use during pregnancy. 
  • Premature Delivery – You could give birth to a premature baby, which also puts the baby at risk for a wide range of health problems.
  • Mental Health Issues – Your baby could be born with mental health issues that may not fully manifest until they are older.
  • Developmental Problems – Babies who were exposed to drug use during pregnancy develop much slower mentally and physically than their peers.
  • Drug Withdrawal Symptoms – A newborn baby will experience the effects of substance abuse withdrawal shortly after birth. The effects could be so severe, the baby dies.

Furthermore, should you be lucky enough to give birth to a somewhat healthy baby, the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is significantly higher when the baby is exposed to drug use during pregnancy. As a result, there is a very high probability your baby will die before reaching their first birthday. 

The Dangers of Quitting “Cold Turkey”

Attempting to stop abusing drugs “cold turkey” can be very risky for you and your unborn baby. Your body will undergo various changes as the drugs are purged from your body and your baby. As such, you and your baby could experience severe withdrawal symptoms that could cause miscarriage. 

To ensure you and your baby avoid severe withdrawal symptoms, it is highly recommended to go through detox as part of your addiction treatment program, where it can be supervised. 

Pregnancy Drug Use Rehab Treatment in Atlanta

Suppose you have found out you are pregnant and struggling with drug abuse. If you are serious about giving birth to a healthy baby, then you need to seek rehab treatment at Buckhead Behavioral Health in Atlanta as soon as possible.

The sooner you can discontinue your drug use, the better it will be for both you and your unborn baby. While we cannot promise what outcome your drug use during pregnancy will have on your unborn baby, we can promise to help you overcome your addiction and help you safely detox. 
For further information about our pregnancy drug use rehab treatment programs and options, please feel free to contact us by calling 908-489-5564 today!

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