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The Effects of Substance Abuse on Unborn Babies

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Submitted By TiltedHalo714
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Substance abuse during pregnancy can cause many medical problems for the baby after birth. Tobacco, alcohol, and many other forms of illegal substances can cause medical concerns both during pregnancy and after birth to a baby exposed during pregnancy. Low birth weight, heart defects and premature birth are some of the common effects of substance abuse during pregnancy.

The Effects of Substance Abuse on Unborn Babies

In today's society, people are talking about babies being born addicted to drugs, and how a mother could harm her unborn child. Substance abuse during pregnancy can have devastating and lasting effects on unborn babies. Drug addiction is a very serious condition that requires more research. We are still learning the effects of substance abuse. Doctors and nurses should not judge these women, but should instead give them the best prenatal care that can be provided. We need to see what harm and side effects substance abuse has on the mother and baby so that we can be able to better understand how to treat the both of them during pregnancy and after birth.
Tobacco is sometimes called the lessor of all evils, but “there are over four thousand chemicals” (Johnson, 2012), including nicotine and carbon monoxide. These are the two most dangerous chemicals. Smoking during pregnancy affects the mother and baby’s health before, during, and after the baby is born. The nicotine (the addictive substance in tobacco), carbon monoxide, and numerous other poisons inhaled are carried through the bloodstream directly to the baby. This will decrease the vital oxygen flow to the baby, and will reduce the ability of the lungs to absorb oxygen (American Council for Drug Education, 1999). The risk of ectopic pregnancy, vaginal bleeding, and still birth is increased when the mother uses tobacco. After birth, decreased lung function has been shown. Low

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