Help I am Pregnant and an Addict

There are a lot of resources on the internet, in books, and from the medical community on the dangers of drug and alcohol use during pregnancy. However, there is not very much quality information on what you should do if you have a problem with alcohol or drugs and are pregnant. The simple answer is you need to quit. With all the treatment programs availabele; AA, treatment facilities, therapy, self-control, etc., why wouldn't a women be able to get help. Why would anyone use drugs or alcohol while they are pregnant. Most pregnant moms know or have read that using drugs or alcohol can cause numerous problems for their unborn baby. But there are many reasons women avoid treatment.

Some do not believe they are really an addict or alcoholic. They may convince themselves that they don't drink or use very much or that often. The truth, if you are not capable of quitting during a time in your life when it is most essential that you do not drink or use, you are an addict. If you were not addicted quitting during pregnancy would not be difficult.

Many women falsely believe that an occasional drink or drug use is not really harmful. They may minimize their problem and rationalize what they are doing. They may say things like well when my mother was pregnant she drank/smoke and I turned out fine.

Sometimes a woman may convince herself that she is done and it won't happen again. Perhaps she has used during the first month but she will tell herself, I will get help if I do this again. With the next time it happening repeating the same rational in her mind, each time thinking it is the last.

Addiction is a shameful disease. Addicts come in all forms. People with addiction can hide their disease very well. Their friends and family may not even realize that they have a problem. Talking to a health professional about this may be something they are too afraid to do.

They may be afraid to talk to a professional for fear of having an investigation by Child Protective services.

Marijuana supporters put out a lot of false information about the risks to an unborn child. Minimizing the dangers, even going as far as to say babies born to marijuana users are less fussy and more content. They may choose to believe this misinformation in order to avoid facing their addiction.

Risks of using drugs and alcohol during pregnancy

Smoking:

Babies are more likely to be born preterm and with low birth weight.

Alcohol:

Can cause Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Babies born with FAS may have symptoms of alcohol withdrawal shortly after birth. They often have a small head, small eyes, a wide flat nose, and a small jaw. Children with FAS may have growth problems, diminished mental capacity, and emotional problems.

Marijuana:

Can cause preterm birth, low birth weight and some studies say it can cause attention problems in children.

Coccaine:

Babies born to cocaine users often go through withdrawal symptoms after birth. Fetal growth may be retarded, there is a greater risk of premature labor and abruption of the placenta. Babies often have low birth weight, may have feeding problems, and are at greater risk of sids. Children of cocaine addicted mothers may have emotional problems, short attention span, and learning disabilities.

Heroin and other narcotics:

Mother is at a greater risk of having preterm labor and having a baby with low birth weight. Babies of heroin addicted moms may have breathing difficulties, hypoglycemia, and intracranial hemorrhage. They also will go through withdrawal after birth.

If you need help

If you think that you have a problem there are places to get help. Please do not wait.

One of the best places to get help is at


Acoholic Anonymous
www.aa.org

Or you can look in your phone book under alcoholic anonymous. Someone there will gladly help you find meeting locations and someone to talk to.

Resources

NIDA

March of Dimes

American Council for Drug Education

About The Author

Patty Hone is a wife and mommy to three kids. She is also the owner of Justmommies.com. Justmommies is an online community for mommies to make friends and find support. Please visit Justmommies at http://www.justmommies.com.

[email protected]

In The News:

Pregnancy and Hepatitis C Care  Norton Healthcare
Pregnant pause  Deccan Herald

Weight Loss After Pregnancy - The Importance Of Setting Goals

One of the best things you can do is set... Read More

Labor and Delivery

This is it - the finish line. You and your... Read More

Common Sense Approach To Pregnancy Weight Loss

Ok so everyone gains weight while they are pregnant. This... Read More

Dietary Precautions During Pregnancy

When you are pregnant, you should be sure to wash... Read More

Start Growing Healthy Children Before Getting Pregnant

When I was in my early 20's, I read Adele... Read More

Things You Should Avoid During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time where you have to be careful... Read More

What is an Ectopic Pregnancy?

Ectopic is another way of saying "out of place". An... Read More

How Fast Will I Lose The Weight I Gained During Pregnancy?

Remember as with any weight loss and exercise program, moderation... Read More

Pregnancy Planner - A Quick Guide

Weeks 1 to 3 are the first weeks of pregnancy.... Read More

Why Shouldnt I Smoke During Pregnancy?

There are a lot of good reasons to quit smoking,... Read More

Extent of Pregnancy Prejudice

Extent of pregnancy prejudice in Britain's workplacesEach year around 30,000... Read More

Why Pregnant Women Get Stressed and Depressed?

If you are a pregnant mother or soon will be,... Read More

Early Signs of Pregnancy

Think you may need to do a home pregnancy test?... Read More

Reducing Your Pain In Childbirth

Pain is the word most associated with labor. Women go... Read More

Pregnancy and Tanning Beds

With summer approaching, you would love to wear those cute... Read More

Weight Gain During Pregnancy, and Weight Loss After Pregnancy

How much weight gain is normal during pregnancy, and will... Read More

Keeping Cool When Pregnant

Chill Out: how to keep your cool this summerWhen the... Read More

Baby Shower Gift Ideas

Selecting a present for a new mom or dad can... Read More

Am I Pregnant?

Am I pregnant? This is often one of the most... Read More

Pregnancy And Celiac Disease

If you have celiac disease and are well controlled because... Read More

Morbidly Obese and Suffering Pregnancy Complications? Consider Gastric Bypass

Obese and morbidly obese women are more likely to have... Read More

Fighting the Pregnancy Blahs

Every pregnant woman has experienced the pregnancy blahs. I can... Read More

Piece of Mind During Pregnancy - It is Possible with Babysheart

After four years of marriage my husband and I started... Read More

How To Avoid Swelling When Pregnant

Edema, otherwise known as swelling, will affect almost all women... Read More

Your Role as an Expectant Father

Quite often expectant fathers get bent out of shape over... Read More