The full extent of the consequences of maternal opioid use during pregnancy depends on multiple factors, such as the amount and number of the drugs used, and whether the drug is used in conjunction with other substances such as alcohol. Other factors include the extent of prenatal care; maternal nutrition; other health conditions and the exposure to sexually transmitted diseases which all influence the health condition of maternal and child outcome. However, when using opioids during pregnancy, mothers should be aware of the increased risk of serious problems that can affect the baby, both during the pregnancy and after birth.
Problems Associated with Opioid Use During Pregnancy and After Birth include:
Miscarriage. This is when a baby dies in the womb before 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Preterm labor and premature birth. Preterm labor is labor that starts too early, before 37 weeks of pregnancy. Preterm labor leads to premature birth that generally carries health problems at birth and later in life for those babies with less than full term
Birth defects, including heart defects and spina bifida. Birth defects are health conditions that are present at birth. Birth defects change the shape or function of one or more parts of the body. They can cause problems in overall health, the development of the body, or in the way that body functions. One such health problem is Spina bifida which is the most common neural tube defect (also called NTD). Neural tube defects are birth defects of the brain and spinal cord.
Fetal growth restriction (also called growth-restricted, small for gestational age and small for date). This means a baby doesn’t gain the weight she should before birth.
Low birthweight (also called LBW). This is when a baby is born weighing less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces.
Neonatal abstinence syndrome (also called NAS). (also called NAS). NAS is when a baby is exposed to a drug in the womb and goes through withdrawal after birth. NAS is most often caused when a woman takes opioids during pregnancy. Babies afflicted with NAS can have serious problems such as being born too small or suffering from breathing problems.Taking opioid medications, even as prescribed by health care provider can increase the risk of NAS in babies. This is one reason that your doctor and care provider need to know about all medications you take and the dosage you take them.
If you have opioid use disorders, talk to your health care provider. Need treatment for prescription opioid drugs? Contact Florida Center for Recovery at 800-643-4005 or chat with us online now. Our trained addiction specialists will be able to guide you in the right direction.
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