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Pregnancy Health

If you’re worried about the consequences of using drugs while pregnant, know this: You are a good parent for worrying about your child. Find the answers and the resources you need here.

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What are the Effects of Taking Drugs While Pregnant?

Unplanned pregnancies often come at the most inopportune time. If you’ve come to this article, you probably know that firsthand. Whether you’re currently struggling with addiction or simply took drugs (prescribed or over-the-counter) before you knew you were pregnant, you’re worried about the possible effects of drugs while pregnant.

Will your actions harm your baby? Is there anything that can be done to reduce the effects of doing drugs while pregnant?

While we’ll tackle the answers to these questions below, we want you to know one thing: Only a doctor can provide the medical advice you’re looking for. The information below may be helpful, but it’s not intended to be and should not be taken as medical advice.

Please contact a local medical professional for more information on the side effects of using drugs while pregnant. They can evaluate your situation and determine the safest path for your pregnancy moving forward.

If you are struggling with addiction, please call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP(4357).

What Happens if You Do Drugs While Pregnant?

Taking drugs while pregnant is a serious situation. Pregnancy is a complicated medical condition; what may have been fine to do beforehand (eat deli meat, exercise vigorously, etc.) is a completely different story when you have a baby growing inside of you. If you are using drugs while pregnant, the effects cannot be ignored.

The side effects of taking drugs while pregnant will vary based on your situation — what kind of drugs you use and how often. However, in most cases, there are a few grave consequences of this decision:

Remember: There is Always Help

If you’re using drugs while pregnant and can’t seem to stop, you’re not alone. According to one 2012 study, about 6 percent of pregnant women in the U.S. use illicit drugs.

But there is hope — in one study, 83 percent of pregnant women who were using cigarettes, alcohol, cocaine or marijuana were able to stop during pregnancy.

All that you need is to find help.

Reaching out to a medical professional can help you minimize the effects of drugs while pregnant. Whether it’s your local obstetrician or a rehabilitation center, contact them to start your detoxing process. They can help you safely come off drugs during the remainder of your pregnancy and get you the medical and psychological assistance you may need.

If you are worried about your ability to sober up and give your child the life they deserve, you can always choose a temporary guardianship or adoption to protect them.

Whatever you do, if you’re worried about the side effects of taking drugs while pregnant, you need to plan ahead of time. Reading this article has already started you in the process. We urge you to reach out to someone you trust — a loved one or a local medical professional — to get the help you need.

Remember: You have nothing to be ashamed of. You may have made some bad choices, but you will be respected now for taking the steps necessary to protect yourself and your baby.

Again, if you are struggling with substance abuse, please call the SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP(4357). They can connect you with the resources you need to get help.