The Dangers of Drug Abuse During Pregnancy

Drug abuse is dangerous to anyone. But, when a person struggling with substance use disorder is pregnant, they’re not only putting their own life and health in jeopardy but also an unborn child. A healthy pregnancy is vital for a healthy birth and baby. So, recognizing and understanding the dangers of drug abuse during pregnancy is vital for expecting mothers or people with uteruses who are intending to get pregnant. This way, these dangers can be avoided and a healthy pregnancy can ensue.

The Consequences of Drug Abuse During Pregnancy

There are a number of negative things that can happen when someone abuses drugs while they’re pregnant. It’s important to understand the dangers of drug abuse during pregnancy so that a person who is struggling with substance abuse disorder can get the help they need. And, steer clear of the many dangers of drug abuse during pregnancy. Some of the consequences of using addictive substances while a person is pregnant can include:

  • early/premature birth
  • low birth weight
  • birth defects
  • trouble with eating
  • heart disease or loss of function
  • future learning difficulties
  • joint issues
  • slow development
  • stillbirth
  • drug withdrawal (Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome)
  • trouble sleeping
  • shaking excessively
  • dehydration (due to vomiting and diarrhea)
  • seizures
  • high fevers
  • maternal and child fatality

These signs and symptoms of substance abuse during pregnancy can be specific to the type of drugs the mother was using during the prenatal period. But, any substance that is addictive in nature can lead to negative consequences for either baby or mother.

Specific Consequences of Drinking Alcohol During Pregnancy

Nearly everyone knows that there is potential danger to a baby inside the womb when an expecting mother consumes alcohol. But, stopping drinking because a person is pregnant may not be something simple for someone who is struggling with alcohol abuse and addiction. There are specific consequences for babies who are born to mothers who drink excessively during pregnancy. Knowing these risks can help mothers who are struggling with alcoholism get professional help before these symptoms occur.

When an expecting mother drinks alcohol excessively, the baby can develop a condition known as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. This is a biological tissue caused by alcohol in the bloodstream that can lead to the interference of a baby’s physical development in the womb. This condition can negatively impact the organs that are developing in a baby including the brain and other important organs along with functioning. Some of the symptoms of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome can include issues with:

  • focusing
  • sleeping
  • learning
  • emotional management
  • communication
  • socialization
  • and more

Other issues that can develop as the result due to a pregnant person drinking can include all kinds of birth defects. Some of these defects can include heart size, breathing problems due to lung malformation, facial abnormalities, premature sizing and weight, and more.

Getting Help During Pregnancy for Substance Use

If you are pregnant and find it challenging to stop using drugs or alcohol, you may be struggling with substance use disorder. And, can benefit from professional assistance that can help you stop using and get the help you need to maintain a healthy pregnancy. If you want the best for your unborn child and yourself, reach out for help at Delray Center for Healing today to get started on your journey to sobriety.