October 28, by Taylor Drug and Alcohol Effects on the Fetus The time that the fetus is in the womb is one of the most crucial times in development. It is during this time that the fetus is easily susceptible to catching anything that the mother consumes or is exposed to. One of the many foreign bodies that can not only effect, but harm the fetus are known as teratogens.
It is also vital that she avoid anything that might harm her or her baby. It is especially important to give up alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. For a pregnant woman, drug abuse is doubly dangerous. First, drugs may harm her own health, interfering with her ability to support the pregnancy.
Second, some drugs can directly impair prenatal development. All illegal drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, pose dangers to a pregnant woman. Legal substances, such as alcohol and tobacco, are also dangerous, and even medical drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, can be harmful.
For her own health and the health of her baby-to-be, a woman should avoid all of them as much as possible, from the time she first plans to become pregnant or learns that she is pregnant.
Studies of marijuana use by pregnant women are inconclusive, because marijuana is often used with other drugs, such as tobacco and alcohol.
Like them, it is associated with premature birth and low-birth weight babies. Some drugs can be harmful when used at any time during pregnancy; others, however, are particularly damaging at specific stages.
Heavy narcotics use increases the danger of premature birth with such accompanying problems for the infant as low birth weight, breathing difficulties, low blood sugar hypoglycemiaand bleeding within the head intracranial hemorrhage.
The babies of narcotics dependent mothers are often born dependent themselves and suffer withdrawal symptoms, such as irritability, vomiting and diarrhea, and joint stiffness.
HIV-infected women obviously run a high risk of passing the virus on to their babies Most of the body organs and systems of the baby are formed within the first ten weeks or so of pregnancy calculated from the date of the last menstrual period.
During this stage, some drugs--and alcohol in particular--can cause malformations of such parts of the developing fetus as the heart, the limbs, and the facial features. After about the tenth week, the fetus should grow rapidly in weight and size.
At this stage, certain drugs may damage organs that areIssuu is a digital publishing platform that makes it simple to publish magazines, catalogs, newspapers, books, and more online.
Easily share your publications and get them in front of Issuu’s. Pregnancy: The Effects of Alcohol and Substance Abuse on Fetal Development Today alcohol and substance abuse is continuing to increase across the general population, particularly among expecting mothers (Cohen &Inaba, ).
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Different drugs have different effects on the mothers and the fetuses as well. Teratogens can vary from drugs to alcohol. Any foreign body that enters the mother that is not beneficial or healthy to the fetus is categorized as a teratogen. Pregnant women who use substances such as cocaine, heroin, marijuana, methadone, methamphetamine, and other addictive substances put themselves and their babies at great risk; however, there is increasing evidence that even substances such as alcohol and cigarettes, which are commonly thought of as less dangerous than the previously mentioned substances, are extremely .