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Drugs and the Fetus Ashley McArdle Tahnee Seibert Holly Horkman.

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Presentation on theme: "Drugs and the Fetus Ashley McArdle Tahnee Seibert Holly Horkman."— Presentation transcript:

1 Drugs and the Fetus Ashley McArdle Tahnee Seibert Holly Horkman

2 Intro Anything consumed by a pregnant woman can affect her and her baby during pregnancy. As many as one out of ten babies may be born to women who used illegal drugs during pregnancy. The embryonic period is very crucial time for fetal development and drugs ingested at this time may cause severe damage.

3 Alcohol  Alcohol easily passes through placenta to fetus  Interferes with fetus’ ability to receive adequate oxygen and nourishment  Alcohol is dangerous because even after the mother is sober, fetus has no way to excrete the alcohol and it stays in the fetus’ system longer.  Birth defects include: Low birth weight Low birth weight Small chest and head circumference Small chest and head circumference Shorter, smaller body stature Shorter, smaller body stature Mental retardation (leading cause) Mental retardation (leading cause) Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

4 Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS)  Most common birth defect for babies whose mothers drank regularly during pregnancy.  Signs of a FAS baby: Facial abnormalities (small eyes, short nose, think upper lip, lower set ears, and smaller jaw) Facial abnormalities (small eyes, short nose, think upper lip, lower set ears, and smaller jaw) Likely to be mentally retarded, have learning disabilities and have behavioral problems. Likely to be mentally retarded, have learning disabilities and have behavioral problems.

5 Tobacco  Causes blood vessels to constrict in the mother which leads to hypoxia in the fetus.  Carbon monoxide increases in the blood which causes the mother to lose the ability to distribute oxygen evenly throughout the body.  Increased risk of : low birth weight low birth weight SIDS (leading cause of death in infants within their first year of life) SIDS (leading cause of death in infants within their first year of life)

6 Marijuana  Like tobacco, marijuana increases carbon monoxide within the mother’s blood which reduces the fetus’ oxygen level.  Usage common among many women during pregnancy, but the effects it has on the fetus is unclear and inconsistent. This is due to close association of the use of alcohol, marijuana and nicotine.

7 Cocaine  The number of babies born with cocaine in their systems has been increasing over the years.  Cocaine crosses the placental barrier and affects the developing fetus.  When cocaine is used early in pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage.  When cocaine is used later in pregnancy can lead to placental abruption.  Withdrawal symptoms are likely with consistent use.

8 Heroin  Heroin acts on the central nervous system.  Enters the fetus’ bloodstream by crossing the placental barrier.  There can be many possible side effects to the fetus when the mother uses heroin.  Withdrawal is very common with heroin use. These symptoms usually set in within hours after birth.

9 Methamphetamine  Methamphetamine, like other drugs, quickly crosses placenta to fetus and affects fetus only after a few uses.  Studies on how meth effects the fetus have started to rise in the past few years.  Meth is hard to study because mothers who use this drug often use other drugs at the same time.  5375/detail.html 5375/detail.html 5375/detail.html

10 Prescription Drugs  Expecting mothers should consult their doctor before taking ANY medications, prescription or over-the- counter.  Medications have side effects that are potentially harmful during pregnancy.  Acne medications, anti- convulsants, anti- inflammatories, and anti- coagulants are medications that should be avoided or taken with extreme caution during pregnancy.

11 Conclusion “Drug use among pregnant women is still a very prevalent and un- addressed problem because creating solutions for the substance abuse is extensive and barriers are needed for pregnant drug abusers. The three most relevant barriers are attitudes of the substance abusing women, attitudes and lack of understanding of the pregnant addict by obstetric care providers and the lack of coordination between obstetric care providers and those involved in mental health and drug abuse treatment.” --James R. Woods, Jr. 1993


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