Effects of Using Drugs in Pregnancy|Blog
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What are the effects of using drugs in Pregnancy?

What are the effects of using drugs in Pregnancy?

by: Dr. Bharti Minocha
Consultant, Gynecology

If you’re pregnant or planning to get pregnant and want a healthy baby, then it’s very important to avoid drug use during pregnancy. Illegal drugs such as marijuana, cocaine etc aren’t the only drugs that are harmful to fetal development, substances such as caffeine and alcohol, can have lasting effects on an unborn child.

Many pregnant women take prescribed or no prescribed drugs or use social drugs (tobacco and alcohol) during pregnancy, and use of drugs during pregnancy. Generally, drugs should not be used during pregnancy unless it is necessary because many can harm the fetus. Sometimes the drugs are useful for the mother and the fetus, but few a times they prove to be harmful for the fetus development. About 2 to 3% of all birth defects result from drugs that are taken to treat a disorder or symptom.

Drugs and their effects on Pregnancy:

There are several ways how the drugs affects the mother like:

  • Poor Appetite
  • Difficulty In Sleeping At Night
  • Premature Labor
  • Difficulty In Making Plans And Decisions
  • Increased Chances Of Infections
  • Water Bag Breaks Too Early
  • Not Being Able To Cope Up With Normal Changes During Pregnancy
  • Sudden Bleeding Etc.

Adverse drug effects on the fetus:

Drugs that a pregnant woman takes during pregnancy can affect the fetus in several ways:

  • Affect the development – They can act directly on the fetus, causing damage, abnormal development (leading to birth defects), or death.
  • Affect the placenta – They can alter the function of the placenta, usually by causing blood vessels to constrict and thus reducing the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the fetus from the mother. And this results in baby being born underweight and underdeveloped.
  • Affect the fetus indirectly – For example, drugs that lower the mother’s blood pressure may reduce blood flow to the placenta and thus reduce the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the fetus.
  • Contraction leading to injury – They can cause the muscles of the uterus to contract forcefully, indirectly injuring the fetus by reducing its blood supply or triggering preterm labor and delivery.

How drugs can affect pregnancy and fetus both:

Drugs even affect the baby and the mother both in many ways they are:

  • Withdrawal Symptoms
  • Difficulty In Decision Making
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  • Feeling Depression After Having The Baby
  • Trouble In Being A Parent
  • Difficulty In Coping Up With Your New Baby’s Needs (I.E. Eating, Sleeping, Crying)
  • Hard To Bond With Your Baby Etc.

Therefore to have a Healthy Baby and Healthy Motherhood avoid use of drugs during pregnancy.

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