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Substance Abuse and its Effects on Pregnancy

If you’re planning on becoming pregnant or are pregnant it’s important to know the risks you take for your health and your baby’s health when consuming substances such as alcohol or drugs.

Experts in the medical field recommend not consuming any alcoholic beverages during pregnancy due to potential harmful effects which include Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) which is a term used to describe a range of negative effects caused by drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is one of several diagnoses within FASD. A child born with FAS can have:

  • Characteristic facial features such as smaller than normal eyes and a thin upper lip
  • A lower weight and height than average
  • Problems with the central nervous system such as:
    • Cognitive disabilities
    • Learning disabilities
    • Behavior disorders
    • Developmental delays; for example, children with FAS may take longer to grow and learn as they get older

Experts also recommend that women who are pregnant should not use any form of illegal drugs during pregnancy. Marijuana and other drugs make it probable to miscarry or have premature or underweight babies. Regular use of heroin and even legal opioids during pregnancy can result in the baby becoming addicted to the substance and suffering through withdrawal when they are born, which could be life threatening. Withdrawal symptoms include muscle spasms, high pitched screaming, irritability, diarrhea/vomiting, disturbed sleep and feeding and breathing problems.

http://www.cpha.ca/en/portals/substance/pregnancy/faq01.aspx

Our Residential Addiction Treatment Centre

Specializing in the treatment of alcohol and drug addiction, Cedars at Cobble Hill also provide treatment for other process addictions including eating disorders and gambling.