The Effects Of Taking Pain Killers During Pregnancy

In 2010, a study revealed that approximately 2.4 Americans were addicted to some type of prescription drug that they really did not need; although it's hard to estimate exactly how many of these individuals were actually abusing pain killers. If you have an addiction to pain killers and just found out you are pregnant, you should find a way to break your addiction soon. Taking pain killers during pregnancy can result in a lot of problems, and here are some of the issues that can occur from this habit.

Premature or small baby

The first risk this poses is early delivery or problems with the baby gaining weight. Babies that are born at low weights or too early can struggle to live. A baby that is not big enough or that has not stayed in the womb long enough may not be fully developed. Because of this, your baby could end up needing hospital care for weeks or months and may need to be placed on a respirator until his or her lungs have fully developed.

The baby may suffer withdrawals

If you are addicted to pain killers, you are probably having a hard time breaking the addiction because of the withdrawal symptoms you experience when you do not take the pills. The problem with taking pain killers during pregnancy is that your baby might go through the same types of withdrawal symptoms as you, but there will be very little the doctor can do to help your baby through this.

Neural tube defects

A neural tube defect is much more common in babies whose mothers used pain killers during pregnancy. This defect can affect the baby's brain, spinal cord, and spine. Spina bifida is one form or neural tube defect, but there are others as well.

Brain defects

In addition, taking pain killers during the second and third trimesters of your pregnancy can result in problems with your baby's brain. These issues can cause issues with the growth of your baby's brain, and this will often lead to long-term problems for your child. As your child grows up, he or she may have trouble learning or interacting with others. Your child may also have a higher risk for developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

If you cannot stop taking the pills for yourself, consider the effects these pills will have for your baby. You can learn more about drug addiction treatment by contacting a facility, such as Pacific Ridge.