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Babies born to mothers who use meth during pregnancy are known as meth babies. Meth babies can suffer from problems ranging from meth addiction to a stroke. Read this article for more information about how meth use during pregnancy effects an unborn child.
What you do during pregnancy can have a very real effect on how the baby inside you develops. While there is no way to say exactly how fetal development will be affected by the choices you make during pregnancy, many scientists and health professionals have a pretty good idea of what can happen when you use alcohol or drugs while you are pregnant. And, with the rise in popularity of methamphetamine use, it is little surprise that many are starting to wonder what could happen in terms of meth babies.
Possible Effects of Meth on Babies
When pregnant women use meth, it gets into their system. And that means that it gets into the fetus's system as well. There is no way to avoid that. Meth use during pregnancy can affect the way the baby develops, contributing to low birth weight and possibly to physical and mental defects. One very really possibility is that the fetus can suffer from a stroke inside the uterus before being born. When that happens, there is nothing that can be done. Babies who survive a stroke in utero, run the risk of having problems the rest of their lives.
In some cases, meth babies are born with an addiction to meth. It has been such a part of fetal development that the baby’s body has a hard time adjusting. A period of time might be required in order to help the baby deal with withdrawal symptoms and overcome the meth addiction. Meth babies also have their own interesting symptoms. Some only sleep one hour a night, until the effects of the meth wear off somewhat. Meth use by a pregnant mother can also result in muscle stiffness, tremors and difficulty with gripping by the baby.
These causes, though, can be difficult to pin completely on methamphetamine use by mothers. This is because meth is rarely the only drug abused by pregnant women. Many women who use meth also use or abuse alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana. It is difficult to see where the effects of these other substances come in, and how much of the problems experienced by some babies are actually caused by meth use.
Future Health of Meth Babies
So far, it appears that meth babies can recover from in utero exposure with proper therapy and care. Except in cases of stroke, or some other similar damage, it looks promising as far as overcoming the effects of meth addiction in babies. Indeed, if the meth babies can get the right treatment, and if parents start looking out for their welfare (usually overcoming their own meth addictions), it is possible that these infants can grow into mostly healthy adults. There remain questions about how much meth use by pregnant women can permanently affect some motor skills and thinking ability, but it is expected that more information on this will emerge as a generation of meth babies grow up.
Until then, it is important that you take good care of yourself during pregnancy. If you care about your baby, you will practice good pregnancy health and do your best to avoid substance abuse. Even though experts may not know exactly what permanent effects meth can have on babies, it is much better to be safe than sorry.
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