When you’re pregnant, you’re not just eating for two. You’re drinking, breathing, and living for two. Therefore, it is very important to carefully consider the things that you give your body and eventually your baby. So when you eat junk, your baby eats junk too. When you smoke or drink, your baby receives traces of nicotine and alcohol too. And when you take illegal drugs, your baby gets affected as well.
However, the number of pregnant women suffering from drug or alcohol addiction is growing. They may have been substance dependent prior to getting pregnant and are having a hard time kicking the habit. There may also be other factors in play, such as stress, trauma, problems, lifestyle, peer pressure, and many more.
Pregnancy and Addiction
First of all, most women who suffer from alcohol and drug addiction are most likely dealing with certain personal and personality issues such as low self-esteem, insecurity, loneliness or depression, and some deep-set emotional problems. In our country, the majority of substance abusing pregnant women use meth or shabu, alcohol, and marijuana.
These drugs, as well as other drugs and chemicals, have a huge negative impact not only to the health of the mother but also to that of the unborn child, whose growth inside the womb entails plenty of nutrients from the mother. The chemical components from such substances can be transmitted from the mother to the baby’s blood while inside the womb, therefore resulting in many types of defects, abnormalities, and complications.
A mother who is taking drugs while pregnancy may have high blood pressure, reduced weight, malnutrition, sexually transmitted diseases, infections, anemic disorders, premature labor, and many other conditions.
Meanwhile, the baby may experience complications in the womb as well, such as stunted growth, malnutrition, AIDS or HIV, low birth weight, learning disorders, infection, prematurity, birth defects, and even sudden death.
Depending on the severity of the mother’s addiction, both mother and baby may also suffer from more fatal, life-threatening complications.
Help is available
Substance addiction is a condition that is hard to overcome, even for pregnant women. Family and friends of pregnant women should provide support so she can fight her drug or alcohol problem. There are also rehabilitation facilities such as Bridges of Hope that can help women with these problems. If a woman is able to stop using drugs during the first trimester of her pregnancy, there may even be a good chance for her to deliver a healthy baby unharmed from the mother’s drug use.
Women who are pregnant and struggling from addiction should therefore seek help immediately in order to save themselves and their babies from certain harm and so that they can provide proper care for their child and live better, healthier lives.
Drugs and alcohol must be avoided by pregnant and lactating women. If you or someone you know is in this condition and yet are still consuming drugs or alcohol, seek help.