Using Drugs While Pregnant: How It Affects Your Baby

Using Drugs While Pregnant: How It Affects Your Baby

Using Drugs While Pregnant

You just found out you’re pregnant, which is exciting news. But you have a drug abuse problem. You know it’s dangerous to be using drugs while pregnant because of how it can affects your baby. For the health of you and your baby, you should seek help for your addiction immediately. Doing so will give your baby their best chance at a healthy start.

Using Drugs While Pregnant: How It Affects Your Baby

General Overview

Almost all drugs pass through the placenta to reach your baby and affect them in some way.

Having drugs in your body can potentially reduce the amount of oxygen that reaches your baby. In early pregnancy, some drugs can affect your baby’s development. Your baby may not grow as well as expected in the womb.

Illegal drugs can also cause problems later on in your pregnancy, as they affect how well the placenta works. One risk is that the placenta may come away from the side of your uterus, causing severe bleeding. This is called placental abruption. Placental abruption is very serious and, because of the bleeding it causes, it can be life-threatening for you and your baby.

If you regularly take certain drugs during your pregnancy, your baby may have withdrawal symptoms after birth. This could mean they need to stay in a hospital, so nurses and doctors can keep an eye on them for signs of withdrawal, and give them any necessary treatment.

Taking drugs before knowing you’re pregnant

Many people take drugs socially, so if you took drugs only once after becoming pregnant, it’s highly unlikely that your baby will be affected. However, if you frequently took drugs before becoming pregnant, you should still consider seeking treatment.


Marijuana is the most widely used drug. Using this drug during pregnancy could make your baby unsettled and more easily startled after they are born. As your baby grows up, marijuana could cause behavioral and learning problems in the long-term.

Smoking weed while pregnant also exposes your baby to smoking-related risks. You are also more likely to into premature labor. Even if your baby is born on its actual due date, it will be at risk of being born with a low birth weight and the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

Speed and Meth

If you’re on any type of amphetamine, it’s best that you stop taking them before you become pregnant. If that’s not an option, you can still quit while pregnant, but do so with care in a rehab program. Suddenly stopping these drugs can be extremely harmful to you or your baby and can result in a miscarriage.

Taking speed or crystal meth can increase the chances of following:

  • placental insufficiency, which is when the placenta can’t carry enough oxygen and nutrients to your baby
  • the placenta separates from your uterus (placental abruption)

These drugs can affect your baby’s growth in the uterus, making them smaller than expected for your stage of pregnancy and increasing the chance of premature birth.


Taking cocaine or crack during pregnancy can increase your risk of having a miscarriage, and of placental abruption during late pregnancy.

Using this drug can also slow down your baby’s growth in the uterus, as well as increase the risk of your baby having learning and behavioral problems when they are older.

Heroin/Strong Pain Killers

Heroin presents extremely bad risks for your baby. As heroin is related to opioids, the same kind of problems can arise if you regularly use painkillers such as morphine or Tramadol while pregnant.

It is important to get treatment as soon as you can, as trying to quit on your own could be dangerous for you and your baby. It could lead to a premature birth, miscarriage, or your baby could be stillborn. The safest way to quit is always as part of a drug treatment program.

Heroin and other opioids can slow down your baby’s growth and affect how their brain grows. These drugs also make it harder for your baby to breathe right after they are born.

One serious problem that your baby will deal with when they are born is withdrawal symptoms. If your baby is born with these symptoms, they will need to stay in the hospital to receive special care.

If you are expecting a child and are concerned about using drugs while pregnant, call us today at 855.981.2020. We will help you fight the addiction to ensure a healthy future for your child.

Artesian Recovery & Wellness Centers, LLC is all about recovery that lasts. Our holistic approach is what sets us apart from traditional treatment centers.  A fresh start is a beautiful thing, so let us join you on your path to recovery.  Contact us today.

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