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Pregnant Drug Users
tobacco if that child starts smoking. Tobacco use1.8.8 times greater risk of stillbirth, with the highest risk found among the heaviest smokers. 137 Even so, we know little about the effects of taking most medications during pregnancy. 108 Given the potential of marijuana to negatively impact the developing brain, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that obstetrician-gynecologists counsel women against using marijuana while trying to get pregnant, during pregnancy, and while they are breastfeeding.
Blood-borne infections, sexually transmitted diseases, nearly every disease that can affect the mother can also affect the child since there is a connection between the mother and unborn child through the umbilical cord and placenta. 118 Prenatal marijuana exposure is also associated with an increased likelihood of a person using marijuana as a young adult, even when other factors that influence drug use are considered. Babies can be born addicted to methamphetamine and suffer withdrawal symptoms that include tremors, sleeplessness, muscle spasms, and feeding difficulties. 100 Some associations have been found between marijuana use during pregnancy and future developmental and hyperactivity disorders in children. 139 Although some prescription and OTC medications are safe to take during pregnancy, a pregnant woman should tell her doctor about all prescription and over-the-counter medications, and herbal or dietary supplements she is taking or planning to take. 119 More information on marijuana use during pregnancy in nida's Marijuana Research Report. Some states have policies that enforce admission to an inpatient treatment program for pregnant women who use drugs. Missouris laws state that testing positive for drugs within 8 hours post delivery AND she has either a previous child abuse/neglect conviction or if she did not complete a recommended substance abuse treatment program, constitutes unfitness as a parent. There is currently little research into how a nursing mother's alcohol use might affect her breastfed baby. These states include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.