Risks Involved For A Child Prior To Birth From A Mother Who Is Using Illicit Substances, And Safety Of Newly Born Child
In spite of the fact that they know they are pregnant, more and more women are abusing drugs. Toxic substances can enter the fetus’s bloodstream through the umbilical cord, causing long-term health issues and leaving the baby in a state of withdrawal when it is born. In order to help the mother understand the dangers of drug abuse during pregnancy, it is important to educate her on the best ways to reduce the number of drugs she is exposed to while pregnant (Hansson et al., 2020, p.102855). Substance abuse affects the mother and the fetus in terms of physical and emotional health, and it often results in the loss of meaningful social relationships.
Women’s social and emotional well-being can suffer if they abuse drugs or alcohol during their pregnancy. It can harm her ability to be a good parent, spouse, and friend. Pregnant women abusing illicit substances like cocaine, marijuana, alcohol, tobacco, and heroin tend to isolate themselves from their families and seek out other users. They may spend most of their time getting high. As a result of long-term drug use, she has difficulty relating to her loved ones and cannot express her emotions (Wells, 2009, pp.345-362). If the mother’s stress levels are too high, it could harm the fetus’ development and well-being. Addiction to drugs can lead to mental health issues such as depression, stress, and anxiety.
Stress hormones emitted by the mother may affect the baby’s blood flow. Stress can also impact the diet and sleep habits of the expectant mother. Toxic effects on pregnant women can lead to miscarriage, fetal death, congenital disabilities, and even maternal death if they become dependent on such drugs during pregnancy. A well-educated and informed mother is essential to reducing or even preventing substance abuse during pregnancy. Educating expectant mothers about the dangers of substance abuse can be done in many ways (Auger et al., 201, pp.133-138). A nurse can assist a patient cope with their situation by involving their family in the treatment and encouraging them to seek help if they refuse. The nurse may also educate the patient on what to expect from the treatment and how they can help.
They will be there for their loved ones throughout the treatment process, but especially during the withdrawal stage, which can be particularly trying for patients. A nurse can address pregnancy complications such as fetal death and postpartum drug withdrawal by providing information about drug use’s adverse psychological and physical effects on the expectant mother. The nurse can teach the patient stress-reduction techniques, such as deep breathing and yoga, to help her cope with the stress of substance use (Chomitz et al., 1995, pp.121-138). To help the patient maintain a drug-free lifestyle for the long term, the nurse can also educate her about treatment options like counseling and group therapy.
The postpartum nurse has the opportunity to inform the patient about the dangers of breastfeeding while using illegal substances. There are many things that a nurse can do to help a mother understand the effects of using substances while lactating and on their child. Breastfeeding should not be attempted by anyone who has used illegal drugs, as the drugs can be excreted into the milk and hurt the baby’s health. Improper feeding habits, sedation, and tachycardia can result from the consumption of illicit drugs in the mother’s breastmilk. The nurse has the authority to provide the mother with the following advice: You can either stop taking the medication or don’t breastfeed at all.
Substance Abuse’s impact on a Woman’s Pregnancy
In some cases, drug use may not result in significant or long-term consequences. Nonetheless, a fetus is not always the same. “Drug babies” are born to mothers who use drugs. Many of the children in this group are still in the maturation process. According to research, drug use during pregnancy, whether legal or illegal, directly affects the fetus. So does the baby if you’re pregnant and you’ve been smoking, drinking, or taking in caffeine. During pregnancy, your fetus is also exposed to drugs like marijuana and crystal meth (Olds et al., 1998, pp.1238-1244). For pregnant women addicted to cocaine (also known as “coke,” “snow,” “blow,” etc.), their unborn child’s health is in jeopardy as well. Cocaine can result to heart attacks, respiratory failure, strokes, and seizures, among other things. Unborn children can be affected by these potentially fatal health conditions as well.
Congenital disabilities, premature births, underweight babies, and stillbirths can all result from taking drugs during pregnancy. Smoking weed, ganja, dope, or pot before birth has been linked to behavioral issues in children as young as three years old (Grant et al., 2014, pp.11-18). Memory and attention can also be affected by taking these drugs. Studies have shown that kids born to mothers who used cocaine during pregnancy may have long-lasting changes in their brain structure. Even though the effects of cocaine on an adult are often short-lived, their effects on an unborn child can last a lifetime. Women who use crack cocaine while pregnant usually give birth to “crack babies,” who usually suffer from various physical and mental health issues. Prenatal exposure to cocaine can have a long-term impact on a child’s development, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (Frank et al., 1988, pp.888-895). Deficiencies in cognitive performance, information processing, and attention to tasks tend to be found in people with autism. In both school and life, these are critical areas.
Strategies that social workers should implement to protect a newly born child. Information is being disseminated to raise awareness and change perceptions regarding mothers’ harmful substance use and misuse. Prevention education teaches them essential life skills and social abilities to prevent drug misuse in children and adolescents. Instead of drug-related activities, alternative methods presume that kids who engage in drug-free activities will meet critical developmental requirements.
Youth who have already experimented with or acquired substance use disorders must be identified and referred to suitable treatment alternatives to avoid further harm. Teens with a history of substance abuse should pay particular attention, especially mothers with newborns (Marotz, 2014). Building inter-agency coalitions and providing community individuals and organizations with drug abuse education and prevention training are just two examples of how a community-based method may improve community resources’ engagement in substance misuse prevention. Adopting policies that diminish and enhance protective factors connected to drug misuse, such as limiting alcohol and cigarette advertising near schools, is one example of an environmental strategy (Stokley et al., 2014, p.620).
By focusing on the following, teachers in schools may help protect future births (Gehre & Schindler, 2005):
- Help students realize the internal and environmental forces, such as worry and tension, that drive them to use alcohol, cigarettes, and other drugs; this includes the effect of peer attitudes and advertising.
- Resist these demands by strengthening your personal, social, and rejection abilities.
- Teaching children that using alcohol, cigarettes, and other illegal substances is not the norm among teens, even if they assume that “everyone is doing it,” is essential.
- In addition to providing information on the short-term and long-term dangers of alcohol, cigarettes, and other substances, we provide developmentally appropriate materials and activities.
- They employ role-plays, conversations, brainstorming, and cooperative learning to educate students.
- A minimum of ten sessions a year is required, with a minimum of three to five booster sessions in the following two years.
- Engage the family and the community in the process.
- Pupils will benefit from materials that are simple to adopt by instructors and culturally appropriate for their students.
Toxic substances can enter the fetus’s bloodstream through the umbilical cord, causing long-term health issues. Substance abuse affects the mother and the fetus in terms of physical and emotional health. A well-educated and informed mother is essential to reducing or even preventing substance abuse during pregnancy. The postpartum nurse has the authority to help a mother understand the effects of using substances while lactating and on their child. Pregnancy complications can be addressed by providing information about drug use’s adverse psychological and physical effects on the expectant mother. Breastfeeding should not be attempted by anyone who has used illegal drugs.
Teaching teens about the dangers of alcohol, cigarettes, and other substances can help protect them from harm in the future when they become mothers. Alternative methods include role-plays, conversations, brainstorming, and cooperative learning. Community-based approaches to substance misuse prevention are just two examples of how a community-based method may improve engagement (Chanana and Bala, 2011).
Auger, N., Goudie, C., Low, N., Healy-Profitós, J., Lo, E. and Luu, T.M., 2019. Maternal use of illicit drugs, tobacco or alcohol and the risk of childhood cancer before 6 years of age. Drug and alcohol dependence, 200, pp.133-138.
Chanana, A. and Bala, R., 2011. Concealment of Birth of an Identified New Born Child a Case Report.
Chomitz, V.R., Cheung, L.W. and Lieberman, E., 1995. The role of lifestyle in preventing low birth weight. The future of children, pp.121-138.
Frank, D.A., Zuckerman, B.S., Amaro, H., Aboagye, K., Bauchner, H., Cabral, H., Fried, L., Hingson, R., Kayne, H., Levenson, S.M. and Parker, S., 1988. Cocaine use during pregnancy: prevalence and correlates. Pediatrics, 82(6), pp.888-895.
Gehre, C. and Schindler, V., 2005. Development of the numerical model of the newborn child dummy q0. Technical University of Berlin, Germany.
Grant, T., Graham, J.C., Ernst, C.C., Peavy, K.M. and Brown, N.N., 2014. Improving pregnancy outcomes among high-risk mothers who abuse alcohol and drugs: Factors associated with subsequent exposed births. Children and Youth Services Review, 46, pp.11-18.
Hansson, L., Wrigstad, J. and Wangel, A.M., 2020. Challenges in the handover process of the newborn with congenital heart disease. Intensive and Critical Care Nursing, 59, p.102855.
Marotz, L.R., 2014. Health, safety, and nutrition for the young child. Cengage Learning.
Olds, D., Henderson Jr, C.R., Cole, R., Eckenrode, J., Kitzman, H., Luckey, D., Pettitt, L., Sidora, K., Morris, P. and Powers, J., 1998. Long-term effects of nurse home visitation on children’s criminal and antisocial behavior: 15-year follow-up of a randomized controlled trial. Jama, 280(14), pp.1238-1244.
Stokley, S., Jeyarajah, J., Yankey, D., Cano, M., Gee, J., Roark, J., Curtis, C.R. and Markowitz, L., 2014. Human papillomavirus vaccination coverage among adolescents, 2007–2013, and post licensure vaccine safety monitoring, 2006–2014—United States. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, 63(29), p.620.
Wells, K., 2009. Substance abuse and child maltreatment. Pediatric Clinics of North America, 56(2), pp.345-362.