Fetal abuse during pregnancy

Adolescents and young adults are biologically wired to take risks and experiment with tobacco, alcohol, prescription pills, and illicit drugs.

Fetal abuse during pregnancy

Are any drugs safe during pregnancy? Why are pregnant women warned not to use drugs? But the same is not always true for a fetus. Drug-using mothers often give birth to "drug babies. Studies show that using drugs -- legal or illegal -- during pregnancy has a direct impact on the fetus.

If you smoke, drink alcohol, or ingest caffeineso does the fetus. If you use marijuana or crystal methyour fetus also feels the impact of these dangerous drugs.

Fetal abuse during pregnancy

The consequences of using cocaine include heart attacksrespiratory failure, strokes, and seizures. And these life-threatening health problems can also be passed to an unborn baby.

Taking drugs during pregnancy also increases the chance of birth defectspremature babies, underweight babies, and stillborn births. Exposure to drugs such as marijuana -- also called weed, ganja, dope, or pot -- and alcohol before birth has been proven to cause behavior problems in early childhood.

In addition, some findings show that babies born to women who use cocaine, alcohol, or tobacco when they are pregnant may have brain structure changes that persist into early adolescence.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuseexposure to cocaine in the womb can lead to subtle, yet significant, deficits later in children. These deficits usually show up in areas such as cognitive performance, information-processing, and attention to tasks.

These are areas that are vital for success not just in school, but in life. Continued Which drugs have the most serious consequences for the fetus? Taking almost any drug during pregnancy can have serious consequences for the fetus.

For instance, babies who are exposed to cocaine have a tendency to have smaller heads that indicate a lower IQ. Cocaine-exposed babies have a higher risk of birth defects that impact the urinary tract or heart. Cocaine may also cause a stroke in an unborn fetus, resulting in brain damage or even death.

Using cocaine or methamphetamine -- also called speed, Tinacrank, or ice -- increases the risk of miscarriage early in the pregnancy.

Later in the pregnancy, these illicit drugs may cause pre-term labor and low birth weightas well as babies who are irritable and have feeding difficulties.

Pregnant women who smoke marijuana face a higher risk of premature birth and low birth weight. Smoking pot may cause developmental delays in the child. And after delivery, babies who have been exposed to marijuana seem to undergo withdrawal symptoms with excessive crying and trembling.

What about cigarette smoking during pregnancy? Cigarette smoking causes serious illness and premature death in the general population. But pregnant women who smoke pass the nicotine and other carcinogenic chemicals to the growing fetus.

Sadly, most infants with congenital heart defects die in the first year of life. Those infants who survive often face lengthy hospital stays and numerous surgeries along with a lifetime of disabilities. Women who smoke are also more likely to have placenta problems. This is a serious concern because the placenta provides nourishment to the baby in the womb.


Smokers also have low-birth-weight babies, premature deliveries, and babies with cleft palate. In addition, smoking during pregnancy and after delivery is one of the causes associated with sudden infant death syndrome SIDS.

Fetal abuse during pregnancy

Does drinking during pregnancy cause fetal alcohol syndrome? Fetal alcohol syndrome FAS and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders FASD refer to a range of disorders caused by drinking alcohol during pregnancy.Aug 03,  · Hallucinogen abuse during pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage, premature delivery, and withdrawal symptoms in the newborn.

Babies born to mothers who abuse hallucinogens may have heart and brain abnormalities and be small in size.4/5(2).

Punishing Women for Their Behavior During Pregnancy An Approach That Undermines Women’s Health and finding themselves prosecuted for such non-existent crimes as “fetal” abuse and delivery of drugs through the umbilical cord.

In addition, pregnant women are being civil- Punishing Women for Their Behavior During Pregnancy 2. Although no single approach can accurately determine the presence or amount of drug used during pregnancy, Alcohol remains the most widely studied prenatal drug of abuse, and the evidence is strong for fetal growth problems, congenital anomalies, and abnormal infant neurobehavior.

There has been no convincing evidence of a neonatal. Jan 27,  · There was an increased risk of early alcohol initiation among the ones exposed to greater alcohol use during pregnancy. In another study drinking rates at 21 years did not relate to maternal drinking during pregnancy after adjustment for demographics and other potential exposures.

Fetal Abuse A growing number of women are being criminally prosecuted or having their children taken from them for doing drugs while pregnant. After years of hibernation, the legal concept of. The issue of substance abuse during pregnancy has been debated among policymakers since the late s.

Johnson v. State 18 was the first successful prosecution of a pregnant woman in the United States for prenatal damage to a fetus.

Substance Abuse Reporting and Pregnancy: The Role of the Obstetrician-Gynecologist - ACOG