Purity. Innocence. Gift.
These are just a few of the many words that are used to describe children. However, for some children a lifelong battle for survival begins before they are born. There are debilitating diseases and gene mutations that can cause a child a great deal of pain and suffering. Some of these children are born to mothers that choose to abuse drugs during their pregnancy.
Now while we are all told that drugs will ruin our lives, we have only been given the reasons that affect us (malnutrition, addiction, infection, overdose, etc.). It is important to remember that when we abuse drugs, we are putting not only our own lives at risk, but potentially those of our unborn children.
Drugs cross our blood-brain barrier (BBB), which is how they produce the effects that they do. Drugs will also enter the placenta, and in turn the fetus, having harmful effects. In some cases, the drug is so addictive that the baby will become dependent on it before birth and need to be helped through withdrawal symptoms after birth.
Depending on the drug there are varying effects on the unborn child. These effects include:
- Placental rupture
- Premature birth
- Oxygen deprivation leading to low birth weight and/or brain damage
- And if used frequently, serious birth defects
It is important to consult a healthcare professional throughout your pregnancy, especially if you are using/abusing drugs. Sometimes your doctor will put you on methadone until the baby is born to reduce the risk of miscarriage/placental rupture.
When pregnant, it is important that you take care of your body not only for yourself but for your unborn child. While it may seem impossible, it is necessary to help ensure that you will have a happy and healthy baby. There are many programs that will offer support and guidance for pregnant women as they face a unique struggle.
Our future lies in the hands of those that come after us. In order to have a bright future, we must raise a generation in which strong morals and sense of purpose are instilled. Give your child a fighting chance to be a future leader by preventing and/or discontinuing drug use during pregnancy.