Substance abuse and pregnancy essay

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  1. Essay for high school
  2. Alcohol on fetal development
  3. NCSACW - Infants with Prenatal Substance Exposure
  4. Pregnant women using drugs

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Essay for high school

The Nurse-Family Partnership and Invest in Kids program in Denver is a provider dedicated to forming relationships with patients and sending skilled nurses to help at risk mothers and their children. The health assessment needs of homeless pregnant women revolve greatly around prenatal health, nutrition, mental health, substance abuse and physical abuse screenings. A very important issue with homeless pregnant women is lack of. First, I want to address some statistics on drug-addicted babies. Approximately , babies are born each year with a dependency to at least 1 substance.

HRF, Introduction Among social service professionals, a major question continues to present itself. This question consists of whether or not pregnant substance abusers should undergo treatment or criminalization. This term laid the foundation for biased prosecutions which sparked a political crusade during climate of the time.

According to Flavin, Paltrow , current evidence points to public stigmas and prejudice as posing a greater danger to both maternal and fetal health than use of the drug itself. Leaving the question as to why addicted women are still publicly reviled for the outcomes of their circumstances. From this abhorrence stems the likelihood that …show more content….

Alcohol on fetal development

The rationality of those who support the punishment of addicted mothers focus on the idea that maternal conduct could lead to potential detrimental effects upon the fetus and that prosecution of such behavior would serve as both retribution for the fetus and as a deterrent.

Whereas those who advocate for the pregnant women view this rational as not only impermissible but also unconstitutional as in current legal standing the fetus has no rights that usurp those of the pregnant woman Stone-Manista, , pp. Advocates also suggests that the breadth of forces that lead to drug use in pregnant women have a prevalent cultural and social foundation that the proponents for deterrence and retribution ignore in favor of strict scrutiny.

The types of drugs I'm talking about are strictly illicit. Therefore they are Legal Status of Unborn Pg. These kinds of drugs consist of marijuana, ecstasy,cocaine, heroine, all known as some type of amphetamines. See the use of all these drugs cause many problems for children in the long run, but the safety and non-use of the illicit products are highly recommended because it can cause so many problems and can sometimes kill your child.

Which then leads me to my main point of the paper. My opinion on women who use drugs during pregnancy, I think all hands down that it should be a crime and they should be charged with child abuse not possession to a minor. I believe this is the case because said in March of Dimes Pg. S use illicit drugs during pregnancy, and its said American Pregnancy Association Pg.

Studies have shown that miscarriage and low birth weight and placental abruption can occur if drugs are used during pregnancy. Its highly recommended by doctors to not us any illicit or licit drugs.

NCSACW - Infants with Prenatal Substance Exposure

So then thats where I bring the the law into it, see unborn children have laws too. Pregnant Pause Pg. So I say why not bring this law to Washington.


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I mean yes it effects womans rights as a mother but what right does a woman have to abuse her very own kin for the satisfaction at the moment. I believe you shouldn't have a baby if your in this kind of condition.


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I believe that abortion is better that putting your baby through this kind of abuse. Then last bur not least you hear about the effects it causes children to have. The different birth defects and disabilities children can have are extremely horrible for children to put up with, all because an unwise choice a mother makes or continues to make. See its said March of Dimes Pg. The different things that can occur from drug use, consist of Birth Defects Structural or metabolic defects which is when a part of the body if formed incorrectly, then you have cleft lip, or cerebral palsy. The cleft lip is a deffect that happens of the lip where tissues of the mouth and lip arent completely formed and fused together.

Then there is clubfoot, which is a term used to describe structual defects of the foot and ankle. Then last thereis this thing called your heart, and the things that are commonly occuring in society from drug use isartial and ventrical septal defects, and these are holes in the walls that separate the heart into left and right sides.

All this could be avoided if you had a law to follow. So in the end do you want your child to grow up around other peoples children who will have drug problems, all because of one mothers chices. Or just think to yourself that if you see someone with dissabilities or cleft lip or skin disease, just think its all a 8 out of 10 percent odd that it was due to drug use during pregnancy and just think if a law was made how much more healthier the world would be.

So again I do believe woman!! You are in the wrong for drug use during pregnancy and should be charges with child abuse. Which of your works would you like to tell your friends about?

Pregnant women using drugs

Taking into account the numerous myths surrounding substance abuse in general, but especially in regards to pregnancy, closer study of the effects cigarettes, alcohol, and cocaine enact upon the developing fetus is warranted. Pregnancy can be a difficult time without the added burden of substance use or addiction.

A mother-to-be finds herself responsible not only for her personal health, but that of another developing person. To that end most pregnant women attend regularly scheduled doctor visits, take vitamin supplements and join some form of exercise or Lamaze class to make the pregnancy easier. The most critical stage of pregnancy is the first trimester when the zygote becomes an embryo upon attaching to the uterine walls and the embryo develops into the shape and likeness of a human being.

Although only inches in length, the embryo already has developed internal organs such as a heart, liver, and stomach, all of which begin to respond and function on their own during the first trimester. Facial features, appendages, muscles, and sex organs have formed and continue to take on more concrete shape. During the course of the second trimester, the fetus develops more voluntary and involuntary action such as blinking, grasping, inhaling and crying. Although still highly susceptible to toxins in their mother's body, the fetus at this stage is more fully formed and so at less risk for damage than during the first trimester.

The third trimester signals the end of the usual 40 week gestation period and the child's preparedness to leave the womb. There tends to be some underlying similarities in the mothers who smoke when they are pregnant. A major problem for mothers who smoke while they are pregnant is that they are less likely to take the proper amount of folic acid, which is extremely import for women and even more important when pregnant Haslam et al Also, the diet of a smoker typically "contains significantly less thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin C, corticoids, and iron than a nonsmoker's diet" Matthews.

Also, part of the problem is some of these women do not know that they need folic acid and certain vitamins while they are pregnant Haslam et al This behavior and lack of a proper diet has devastating effects on the children born to these women. These babies are more likely to have health problems which are present at birth. Some of these problems include: respiratory tract infections, asthma, impaired lung function, persistent middle ear infection citation. Other effects that are present at birth are a greater likelihood of SIDS sudden infant death syndrome , as well as an overall increase in infant mortality.

If the child survives through these situations, there are other problems that become more pronounced later in child hood and even early adulthood. Some of the physical effects that occur later in a child's life that are seen a tendency to be shorter, meaning that the growth is likely to be stunted from lack of nutrients from the mother during pregnancy Cornelious et al.

There is also a high likelihood that while the child is shorter they are also more likely to be overweight Cornelious et al Child also faces cognitive deficit as well mainly in the area of poor language development and verbal skills, and the child is more likely to have problems with their memory citation.

Jaye’s Story: A Reason for Hope

Along with cognitive and physical effects, there are also psychological and behavior effects from smoking while pregnant that show in childhood. There are "twice as many of the children with ADHD and deficits in attention, motor control and perceptions that had mothers who smoked during pregnancy Landgre et al. There also tends to be increase inattentiveness, impulsiveness opposition and aggression that is more likely in children whose mother smoked during pregnancy.

There is also a higher rate of conduct disorder in males who grew up with a smoker. In one study they found that there was an increase in delinquent behavior by age 22 in those males whose mothers smoked while she was pregnant than those whose mother did not smoke while she was pregnant with them Rantakallio et al as cited in Weissman et al. In this study, delinquency was defined as any behavior that went on a person's criminal record.

There was another done that showed there were higher rates of delinquent behavior showing up in adolescents Cornelius et al Finally those whose mothers smoked while she was pregnant tend to be at risk for substance abuse themselves not just cigarettes and for depression later in life. There have been studies that have suggested that women who are further along in pregnancy know more about the dangers of smoking, and these studies suggest that there needs to be intervention programs to help these women in these stages, so they can have a chance at having a healthy baby Haslam as cited in Haslam et al Another drug that can have drastic consequences on babies is alcohol.

Alcohol is passed from mother to child. There are four steps in this process. Due to the fact that alcohol does cross the placenta, there are many effects that show up on the child throughout their lifetime.