Cocaine and Pregnancy

Drug abuse under any circumstances can cause serious problems. But pregnant women who abuse drugs face additional risks to their own health and the health of their child. Anything that you ingest in your body is passed along to the fetus. Illegal drugs like cocaine can result in a variety of problems.

Complications from cocaine use during pregnancy include:

  • Miscarriage
  • Low birth weight
  • Premature labor
  • Placenta abruption
  • Fetal death
  • Maternal death

In addition to these general problems caused by drugs, taking cocaine can lead to additional problems for both you and the unborn child. Cocaine crosses the placenta and enters your baby’s body, but it remains in the baby’s body much longer than it does in your body.

Common dangers of cocaine use during pregnancy:

  • Severe maternal bleeding
  • Birth defects
  • Smaller infant head
  • Restriction of fetal growth
  • Learning difficulties
  • Genital defects
  • Kidney defects
  • Brain defects

In addition, babies exposed to cocaine usage later in pregnancy may develop a dependence on the substance. When they are born, they experience withdrawal symptoms including tremors, muscle spasms, sleeplessness, and difficulty feeding.

What If I’ve Just Become Pregnant?

If you are addicted to cocaine and have just become pregnant, you need to stop taking cocaine immediately. The sooner you stop, the more you reduce the risks to both you and the unborn child.  It is also important that you get help for your addiction to cocaine. Fortunately, many treatment centers specialize in helping pregnant women who have become addicted to cocaine. These programs not only focus on the woman’s addiction, but also on the physical health of both mother and baby. Treatment involves obstetrical care, addiction rehabilitation and social services. This typically takes place in a variety of settings, including long-term and short-term residential care, intensive outpatient care, and eventually outpatient care.

During the first phase of your treatment, doctors and others who care for you will help you detox from the cocaine, which can take from a few days to a few months, depending on the level of addiction. Then you will enter the treatment phase, during which you will examine the factors that led to your addiction. You will deal with any underlying causes, such as physical or emotional abuse, trauma, or a co-occurring mental health disorder. You will also learn about the nature of addiction and how to deal with triggers that could tempt you to relapse into cocaine usage again.

Getting Help for Your Cocaine Addiction

Admitting that you need help for your cocaine addiction shows just how much you love your child. Getting help for your addiction is the next step. We can help. You can call our toll-free helpline any time, 24 hours a day. You can talk with one of our admission coordinators who can help you determine the best treatment location and program for your situation. We can also help you find a treatment center that focuses on pregnant women. Every day that you remain in your addiction is one more day that puts you and your baby at risk, so call us today and start on the path of recovery.

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