Cocaine Addiction and Cocaine Withdrawals during Pregnancy
So many teens and young adults are dealing with cocaine addiction today and many of them are women. The sad thing about this is many of them are pregnant or will become pregnant while abusing illegal drugs. This drug addiction is so serious not only for the unborn child but for the cocaine addicted mother.
This video provides a clear understanding to the dangers that cocaine and other illegal drugs can have on a mother and their unborn child.
All women in general stand a 3 to 5 percent chance of their baby being born with a birth defect. During pregnancy, a mother just naturally has concerns about their unborn child when it comes to their over-all health. For most women, it’s hard to imagine a mother making poor choices and risking the health of their unborn child. As hard as it is sometimes, we shouldn’t judge someone else if we haven’t walked in their shoes. It’s easy for people to pass judgment on others but the truth is we all make mistakes and poor choices in life. Granted some poor choices are worse than others but none of us are perfect.
Many teens, young people and mature adults have made the poor choice of experimenting with drug use. Cocaine is one of the illegal drugs that many have chosen to experiment with and abuse. This highly addictive drug is a very powerful substance that stimulates the brain and central nervous system. Cocaine is very dangerous to experiment with because it’s extremely addictive.
In 2008, there were about 5.3 million Americans 12 years of age and older that had abused cocaine by smoking, snorting (inhaling) and injecting the substance. When smoking cocaine, it’s is processed into rock crystal form first then smoked. Many, many people are addicted to cocaine all over the world, and sadly many of them have given birth to babies while abusing this drug. There are important facts a woman needs to know about pregnancy and cocaine abuse. If you find yourself in this situation, you need to be honest and get help. Hopefully the information below will be of help and answer some of the questions a woman or man would have concerning cocaine addiction and abuse.
- There is absolutely no amount of cocaine or any other drug that has not been prescribed by your doctor that’s ok or safe for a mother and her unborn child.
- When abusing Cocaine, chemicals last for about 30 hours in the mother’s urine and lasts between 2 to 7 days in the newborn infant after abusing the drug. If you abuse cocaine before delivery, the chemicals can last up to a week in your newborn after their birth.
- When abusing cocaine, the toxins and chemicals go through the baby’s placenta and throughout the baby’s circulatory system. Cocaine is evident or found in the baby’s hair and also in the urine of the baby. These toxic illegal chemicals stay in the fetus and newborn baby’s body for a much longer period of time than in the mothers.
- Abusing cocaine during pregnancy is extremely dangerous to the fetus and increases the chance of miscarriage. This is in the early stages, later on the placenta can pull away from the wall of the mother’s uterus before she goes into labor. The medical term used when this happens is called ‘placental abruption’ which can lead to major bleeding which can be fatal to the mother and her infant. Abusing cocaine can also cause a premature delivery which is extremely dangerous.
- If a mother abuses cocaine quite often during her pregnancy, the risk of birth defects can and do occur. Some of the birth defects that are associated with frequent cocaine abuse during pregnancy include; abnormalities to the brain, skull, face, eyes, heart, limbs of the baby, intestines, genitals and the baby’s urinary tract.
- Babies born to mothers who have abused cocaine towards the end of their pregnancy tend to be more irritable and jittery, their sleep patterns tend to be off and they tend to have visual confusion. These symptoms can last up to 10 weeks after the baby is born.
- Central nervous system problems can occur but not be noticed until the child is older. Learning problems and behavioral problems with the child may develop and start showing as the child grows up. Physically they may have weakened muscle tone and grow at a much slower rate than normal. There may be problems with the child’s speech and many children require special education as the child grows up and starts school.
- Most babies are born smaller than normal and tend to be shorter than average if the mother abuses cocaine during her pregnancy. The size of their heads may be smaller than average also. If their birth weight is low when they’re born, the chance of them surviving during their first month is decreased compared to babies that are born of normal weight.
- Cocaine reduces the nutrients and oxygen for the baby during pregnancy which can cause a full-term newborn to have low birth weight. Cocaine abuse during pregnancy can also lead to visual problems, learning problems and hearing problems throughout their lives.
- Many babies are born premature due to the mother’s cocaine abuse during pregnancy. Breathing problems are a major concern depending on how early the infant is born; this is a serious health problem for the newborn. The risk of an intracranial hemorrhage which is a stroke is a possibility for the infant either before the birth or after and this can cause permanent brain damage along with other disabilities for the newborn baby.
- Abusing cocaine while nursing is extremely dangerous to the baby. This illegal drug has been found in breast milk in the past. After nursing, there have been babies with signs of intoxication when the mother has abused cocaine.
As hard as it is for a mother to be honest about cocaine abuse and addiction, it is extremely important that you be as honest as possible with your doctor. Prenatal care is important and necessary for any mother who is pregnant and critical for a pregnant woman abusing any drug during her pregnancy. Not only can they help you with your pregnancy, they need to prepare for the birth of your beautiful baby. The doctor needs to be prepared during your delivery for problems that may occur during the baby’s delivery.
Cocaine Withdrawal Symptoms
Many newborns go through withdrawal symptoms after they’re born if their mother’s abused cocaine or any other drugs during her pregnancy. It’s very critical that your doctor know ahead of time about cocaine or any other drug abuse during pregnancy. Some of these symptoms the baby may go through after birth are:
- Tremulousness (involuntary muscle movement such as shaking or trembling)
- Muscular rigidity (muscle spasms)
- Sucking problems which can lead to problems feeding the baby
- Sleeping problems when the baby can’t sleep
The following withdrawal symptoms listed below don’t occur very often with newborns born to cocaine addicted mothers, but could; So please be honest with your doctor during your pregnancy. The more prepared your doctor is for delivery problems the better.
Women also need to understand the cocaine shows up in a man’s semen and can have a negative impact causing the sperm to be abnormal. Cocaine tends to attach itself to a man’s sperm and can also cause infertility problems. Studies show that if a man abuses this drug the sperm can deliver cocaine to the woman’s egg and create developmental problems for the unborn child also. If the woman doesn’t abuse cocaine or any other drugs but if the father does, it’s equally important that the doctor knows of this ahead of time.
If you are pregnant and abusing cocaine or any other drugs whether legal or illegal, please get help. Be honest with your doctor, your innocent unborn child’s life depends on your honesty. Not only will your physician help you and do everything they can to protect your unborn child; they will be prepared for possible complications during your pregnancy and delivery.