Drugs and Pregnancy

Nearly all substances absorbed by a mother-to-be will eventually reach her fetus, so it is obvious that drugs taken during pregnancy can potentially affect the unborn child.

Whatever the type of drug - smoking, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, heroin or any other sort - it will definitely affect your health and pregnancy. You must therefore tell your doctor what you are taking so that he or she can give you precise information on its impact on you and your pregnancy.

Pregnancy is an ideal time to do something if you use drugs. There are many ways you can be helped to reduce and stop your intake. You must realize that drugs can cause development problems for your child during your pregnancy, at delivery and even afterwards.

For example, if you use cocaine on a regular basis, there is a far greater risk that you will have a low-weight baby, give birth prematurely, have a stillborn baby, and suffer a miscarriage or placental detachment. It is essential you talk to your doctor about this as soon as possible. Multidisciplinary teams are often available to help you reduce and stop your drug use, which will improve your wellbeing and that of your unborn child.

Cigarettes and alcohol are also drugs. Although they may not be as strong, they are just as dangerous and far more common. The effect on your baby will be as great, but no one can try to help you unless you speak frankly and openly to your doctor.

Your doctor's role is not to judge your behavior, but to help you. The first step - telling him or her about your problem - is often the most difficult one to take.

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