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Meth Use During Pregnancy – Effects, Risks, And Addiction Treatment Options

Woman struggling to stop meth use during pregnancy

Meth use during pregnancy, whether it be smoking, snorting, swallowing, or injecting the drug, can cause significant harm to both the unborn child and the mother. For the mother, these risks include death during or after childbirth, and for the child, abnormal brain development, behavioral problems, and developmental problems with vital organs.

If you or a loved one is struggling with meth use during pregnancy or meth use in general, the meth rehab center at Vertava Health can help. Contact us at 844.470.0410 to learn about our treatment options.

The Dangers Of Meth Use During Pregnancy

When a woman uses meth, the drug can pass through her bloodstream into the placenta and to her baby. In some instances, this may cause death. Because of this, no amount of crystal meth is safe for a woman who is pregnant.

Use of this drug during pregnancy can negatively impact the development of a child’s:

  • Brain
  • Heart
  • Kidneys
  • Spinal cord

Other serious risks and side effects of meth use during pregnancy include:

  • Cleft palate
  • Low birth weight
  • Placental abruption
  • Premature birth

A newborn may also be overly sensitive to certain types of stimulation, such as human touch and light. Children with these problems frequently have coordination problems and tremors as well.

Babies who are exposed to meth in the womb may also have increased levels of lethargy, stress, and a poorer quality of movement. Some may even develop withdrawal symptoms.

Additional dangers of using meth while pregnant include:

Dangers of Meth Use During Pregnancy

Abnormal Brain Development

When compared to children who weren’t exposed to meth, one study found that exposed children had differences in the structure of the brain’s white matter and the rate by which the brain matured. Researchers have theorized that children may have delayed developmental milestones due to this abnormal brain development.

Behavioral Problems

Using meth while pregnant can lead to mental health disorders, behavioral problems, and learning disabilities. Using this drug during pregnancy may result in a child developing anxiety, depression, and moodiness. These mood problems typically surface by age three.

Poor Overall Health

Meth can suppress a person’s appetite and lead to malnutrition. This could result in the child not receiving the vital nutrients it needs while in the womb or in the mother’s breast milk.

A person may not sleep for long periods of time while on the drug, which could also be damaging to a pregnancy. Once a child’s born, this sleep deprivation may compromise a woman’s ability to safely take care of her child.

Dangers For The Mother

In addition to the risks that accompany methamphetamine use at any time, such as addiction and overdose, a woman who uses the drug while pregnant has an increased risk of dying during or after birth.  It also increases a woman’s risk for preeclampsia, specifically the most severe form, eclampsia. Women who have preeclampsia have a higher risk of having a heart attack or stroke later on in life as well.

The risk of other lifelong health complications, such as blood transfusion, cardiac arrest, and heart failure, can also rise. Some studies have found that meth use can raise a woman’s risk of developing gestational hypertension.

Meth Treatment at Vertava Health

Enrolling in a meth treatment program can help a pregnant woman stop meth use so that she and her baby are protected from these risks. Specialized treatment programs for pregnant women who are addicted to meth or other drugs deliver compassionate care that is targeted to the unique needs of expectant mothers. Contact Vertava Health today by calling us at 844.470.0410 for more info on meth addiction and treatment options. A brighter future is possible for you and your baby.