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Cocaine and The Risks of Using While Pregnant

Cocaine during pregnancy

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Cocaine can be dangerous to any user. However, using cocaine during pregnancy is especially dangerous. This is because the user is now endangering two individuals. Prenatal cocaine exposure is known for its negative effects on an unborn child, both physically and psychologically. So what are those effects, and can the risks of the drug’s impact during pregnancy be lowered by limiting dosage?

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Table of Contents

The Effects of Cocaine on an Unborn Baby

Pregnant Woman patient is on drip receiving a saline solution on bed.

Cocaine use during pregnancy is highly dangerous and may cause some unwanted health issues to both the user and the child. The drug affects babies during pregnancy by restricting blood vessels. This can constrain the baby and mean it doesn’t get exactly what it needs during pregnancy.

According to the National Institute On Drug Abuse, cocaine babies tend to suffer from physical health problems such as:

  • Limb defects – Limbs grow abnormally or not at all due to the substances influence
  • Heart disease – It may cause organs do not develop properly in a child
  • Cocaine dependence – Early exposure to the drug may cause addiction and a reliance on the substance

They may also suffer from psychological health issues such as:

  • Impaired development during adolescent years
  • Impaired perception and reasoning
  • Impaired memory and recollection
  • Difficulty in developing language
  • Behavioral issues and difficulty dealing with stressful situations
  • ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) or ADD (Attention deficit disorder)
  • Lack of emotional control

Is There a Safe Limit to Use Cocaine During Pregnancy?

Like all drugs, during pregnancy, there is no safe limit to the amount of cocaine that can be taken. This is not only due to every person being able to withstand a different level of the drug, but because the drug is highly unsafe anyway. Besides, cocaine and sex are not also a safe combining due to the risk of unwanted and unsafe pregnancy.
The effects of cocaine on a fetus can be deadly. The drug may cause premature birth or even spontaneous miscarriage, amongst many other risks. Even on one-off occasions in small doses, the substance brings a huge risk. Furthermore, the drug’s effects may be short, but how long is cocaine in one’s systemThis makes cocaine breastfeeding risky, as the milk can transfer the substance to the child and cause many health issues, such as:

  • Hypertension
  • A rapid heartbeat
  • Shallow breathing
  • Diarrhea
  • Sickness

The Risks of Cocaine Use to the Pregnant Women

It is important also to be aware of the risk the substance poses to the pregnant woman, as well as the baby itself.
According to Sex Info Online, taking cocaine during pregnancy may cause:

  • Young pregnant woman suffering from pain at home.Premature delivery
  • A maternal migraine
  • Seizures
  • Premature membrane rupture
  • Placental abruption
  • Pain

A cocaine pregnancy may also exacerbate normal cardiovascular changes in a woman. This leads to high blood pressure, spontaneous miscarriage and a difficult delivery, all of which may harm the woman and the child.
Even after pregnancy, drug use can affect a mother. The cocaine in breast milk may mean the child turns down feeding. This may then make it difficult for the mother to bond with the child and can cause postnatal depression. In that way, it does not matter how does cocaine make one feel; the consequences can be fatal.

How To Stay Away From Cocaine While Pregnant?

Due to it being so addictive, it can be a challenge to stay away from cocaine. Many can ask “how much cocaine is too much” but the drug and pregnancy do not mix well at all and can cause many health hazards for both mother and child. This is why it is all the more important to quit if a woman is pregnant.
The first step to staying away from the substance during pregnancy is to tell a medical professional about addiction. They will help to get on the right track to recovery and provide a patient with the support required. They may also direct a patient and guide through some treatment programs especially for pregnant women looking to avoid the situation of a cocaine baby.
After telling a medical professional, it is vital to get rid of any of the drugs one may still have and to cut any ties with dealers or methods of getting the drug. This will remove the temptation of taking any more.
It is also important to let loved ones know. That way they can support one more effectively. Withdrawal is painful for anyone, so it is better to have reliable and loving support behind.
Staying Cocaine Free After Pregnancy
As mentioned earlier, it is just necessary to stay cocaine-free after pregnancy. It will not only benefit the health in both the short term and long term, but it will also help a baby. Substance use makes a baby less likely to want to feed on its mother, and even if it does it will be affected by the drug. One way or the another, this will worsen the relationship between mother and child, while putting the child at risk of harm. This highlights the importance of staying clean.
A baby will not be the only one reaping the benefits of a cocaine-free life, however. Without the drug, woman will feel healthier, less irritable and both physical and psychological condition will improve. Staying clean will be a hugely beneficial thing, so it is important to find ways to deal with cravings, to lead a happy and more comfortable life.

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Medically Reviewed By Michael Espelin APRN
Isaak Stotts

About Author

Isaak Stotts, LP

Isaak Stotts is an in-house medical writer in AddictionResource. Isaak learned addiction psychology at Aspen University and got a Master's Degree in Arts in Psychology and Addiction Counseling. After graduation, he became a substance abuse counselor, providing individual, group, and family counseling for those who strive to achieve and maintain sobriety and recovery goals.


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