Using Drugs and Alcohol While Pregnant Can Be Damaging to Mother and Baby
The impacts of drug and alcohol addiction can have serious side effects and implications on a person’s overall health and well-being. As you engage in alcohol or drug abuse, there are serious impacts to a person’s physical health including damage to specific organs such as the liver, kidneys, and heart, Substance abuse can significantly impact a person’s immune system and overall physical functioning of the longer your addictive behaviors continue. Drugs and alcohol can create severe physical dependencies within users that can lead a person to experience mild to severe withdrawal symptoms that can significantly impact their day-to-day functioning and create a vicious cycle of addiction as they attempt to drink to mitigate and manage the onset of withdrawal symptoms.
Although addiction can have significant impacts on a person, when you are pregnant and living with an active addiction, the impacts can be devastating for the mother and baby. During pregnancy, the health of the mother is crucial for the proper development and health of the unborn baby. While a mother is pregnant, it is important for the baby’s health that the mother is getting proper nutrition, nutrients, and sleep for the fetus to grow and develop. Engaging in substance abuse can cause a baby to have a deficiency in the essential nutrients and vitamins that will promote positive fetal development. There are increased risks for pregnant women to have full-term pregnancies while engaging in substance abuse as some women may experience premature births or, in some cases, there may be birth defects due to exposure to drugs or alcohol. Infants are at risk of having low birth weights, having a small head circumference, and, in some cases, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or babies being born stillbirth. . Depending on the severity of your substance abuse and specific drugs or alcohol use that you engage in, there is an increased risk for a baby to be exposed to these substances leading to the baby being born addicted to those substances from birth. This can be damaging to the child’s first moments of life as they will need to endure withdrawal symptoms upon birth that can be difficult for a newborn to move through. Although there are potential risks for pregnant women and babies, there are treatments available that are safe for the mother and the baby that will maintain safety for both mother and child while offering effective forms of treatment that will alleviate the physical dependence on drugs and alcohol. Pregnant women and their babies will be able to restore their health and facilitate a healthy birth and new life for the infant.