Cocaine and Breastfeeding | Does Cocaine Affect Pregnancy and Breastfeeding?
When a woman is pregnant, it is so imperative that she stay cognizant of what she’s putting in her body. Essentially everything a mother consumes or ingests while pregnant has the potential to pass to the fetus, and this includes toxic substances like drugs and alcohol.
While most women do understand the impact that drugs and alcohol can have on their unborn child when they’re pregnant, what about during breastfeeding?
It’s essential to be aware of passing certain substances to your baby through breastmilk as well.
What about cocaine and breastfeeding? Does cocaine affect pregnancy and breastfeeding?
Cocaine is a potent stimulant drug, derived from the coca plant which originates from South America. When someone takes cocaine, it gives them a burst of energy and euphoria in most cases, although it can also lead to aggression and paranoia.
As a stimulant, it speeds up your body’s processes, and it can also cause insomnia or lack of appetite.
Cocaine affects the body in many ways, including increasing the chances of having a heart attack even at a young age. It also affects many of the organs in the body, especially with long-term use, and it affects certain chemicals and neurotransmitters in the brain.
So what about cocaine during pregnancy and breastfeeding?
If you use cocaine while pregnant, it may be linked to maternal migraines and seizures, premature membrane rupture, and it can cause the placenta lining to separate from the uterus before delivery.
Many changes occur to the cardiovascular system during pregnancy, and cocaine can amplify these. For example, using cocaine during pregnancy can lead to severe high blood pressure, preterm labor or spontaneous miscarriage. It can also lead to a problematic delivery.
It’s common for babies who are born to mothers addicted to cocaine to be born prematurely, have low birth weights and have smaller-than-normal head circumferences. It’s also believed that cocaine use during pregnancy may be linked to reduced social skills and intelligence, at least to some extent. For example, children born to mothers who used cocaine during pregnancy may be at a higher risk of having cognitive deficits, and they may have problems with language and memory.
Cocaine addiction is something that can be treated, but drug addiction is complex and requires professional treatment in most cases. For women who could become pregnant or are pregnant and are addicted to cocaine, it’s important that they speak with their physician about options that are available to them.
So, what about cocaine and breastfeeding?
First and foremost, the primary thing to know about cocaine and breastfeeding is that cocaine can transfer to breastmilk. If you’re a mother who’s breastfeeding and you use cocaine, the drug concentration found in your milk is likely to be higher than what’s in your blood. Even though you may not even feel high from the cocaine you used anymore, the body takes much longer to metabolize the substance and remove it from your system.
You may think it’s okay to breastfeed since you no longer feel the effects of the cocaine, but this doesn’t mean it can’t be passed to your baby. This is extremely problematic because babies are highly sensitive to cocaine, and traces of the drug can stay in the urine of babies for more than a week.
If babies are exposed to cocaine during breastfeeding, it can cause severe symptoms such as irritation, vomiting, and diarrhea, and it may cause death as well.
Not only can cocaine pass to a baby through breastmilk and remain in a baby’s system for long periods of time, but it does so quickly. A baby can be harmed or die from the direct effects of cocaine intoxication, but also from indirect effects such as dehydration.
Cocaine use during pregnancy can cause a number of adverse outcomes ranging from low birth weight to difficult deliveries and preterm labor. It’s not just pregnancy where it’s important to be aware of the risks of cocaine, however.
Cocaine and breastfeeding are two things that should never go together. If you’re using cocaine and breastfeeding the drug can pass through your milk to your newborn, even after the effects of the drug have worn off for you. When babies consume cocaine through breastmilk, it can cause severe intoxication or even death.
If you have a problem with cocaine and you could become pregnant, you are pregnant, or you’re breastfeeding, you should speak with your physician about treatment options and programs to keep you and your baby safe.
Have more questions about Cocaine abuse?Read the most frequently asked questions
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