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Which drugs have the most serious consequences for a fetus?

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Taking almost any drug during pregnancy can have serious consequences for a fetus. For instance, babies who are exposed to cocaine have a tendency to have smaller heads that indicate a lower IQ. Cocaine-exposed babies have a higher risk of birth defects that impact the urinary tract or heart. Cocaine may also cause a stroke in an unborn fetus, resulting in brain damage or even death.

Using cocaine or methamphetamine increases the risk of miscarriage early in the pregnancy. Later in the pregnancy, these illicit drugs may cause pre-term labor and low birth weight, as well as babies who are irritable and have feeding difficulties.

Pregnant women who smoke marijuana face a higher risk of premature birth and low birth weight. Smoking pot may cause developmental delays in the child. And after delivery, babies who have been exposed to marijuana seem to undergo withdrawal symptoms with excessive crying and trembling.

From: Drug Use and Pregnancy WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - National Survey on Drug Use and Health, September 2014.

National Toxicology Program: "Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR)."

March of Dimes: "Illicit Drug Use During Pregnancy."

Medline Plus: "Pregnancy and Substance Abuse."

CDC: "Smoking Early In Pregnancy Raises Risks Of Heart Defects In Newborns."

FDA: "Pregnancy and the Drug Dilemma."

National Toxicology Program: "Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR)."

Bruce, D, PhD. Ballantine Books, 2000. Making a Baby: Everything You Need to Know to Get Pregnant,

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on February 06, 2019

SOURCES:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - National Survey on Drug Use and Health, September 2014.

National Toxicology Program: "Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR)."

March of Dimes: "Illicit Drug Use During Pregnancy."

Medline Plus: "Pregnancy and Substance Abuse."

CDC: "Smoking Early In Pregnancy Raises Risks Of Heart Defects In Newborns."

FDA: "Pregnancy and the Drug Dilemma."

National Toxicology Program: "Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR)."

Bruce, D, PhD. Ballantine Books, 2000. Making a Baby: Everything You Need to Know to Get Pregnant,

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on February 06, 2019

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What are the effects of cigarette smoking during pregnancy?

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