Beginnings of San Luis Obispo County is dedicated to reducing the adverse effects of alcohol, tobacco and drugs though education and access to support services.

Mission
Beginnings’ mission is to create a local culture that supports women in their efforts to abstain from alcohol, tobacco or other harmful substances during pregnancy.

Methamphetamine

Effects of Methamphetamine Speed, Crank, Crystal Meth

“Methamphetamine is a central nervous system stimulant and can cause fetal heart failure and stroke, mal-formed organs and other developmental abnormalities”

Effect during Pregnancy: methamphetamine causes severe changes in blood pressure, and available oxygen to the fetus, causing stroke, heart attack and premature labor.

Effects on the Fetus: methamphetamine also reduces blood flow to the fetus causing malformation or lack of limbs and organs such as the brain and kidneys,

Babies born to meth-addicted women are often premature

Babies born to meth-addicted women are often premature

Effect on the Infant:

Slow development, learning and behavioral problems are typical of children with mothers who used methamphetamine during pregnancy.

Characteristics of Meth Exposed Infants:

What are the effects of methamphetamine on babies during pregnancy and after birth? Methamphetamine use during pregnancy affects development of a baby’s:

  • Brain
  • Spinal cord
  • Heart
  • Kidneys
  • Methamphetamine use during pregnancy may result in prenatal complications, such as premature delivery and birth deformities.
  • High doses of the drug may cause a baby’s blood pressure to rise rapidly, leading them to suffer strokes or brain hemorrhages before birth.
  • Babies whose mothers used methamphetamine during pregnancy may experience learning disabilities, growth and developmental delays.
  • Methamphetamine-exposed babies may experience gastroschisis and other problems with the development of their intestines. (Gastroschisis is a condition in which a baby is born with a hole in the abdomen, causing the intestines to be outside the body.)
  • As a result of methamphetamine use by their mothers, some babies may suffer developmental and skeletal abnormalities (such as clubfoot). Some babies are born without parts of their arms or legs.
  • Because methamphetamine affects transmitters in the brain, babies often experience sleep disturbances and altered behavioral patterns. These babies have been described as “irritable babies.”
  • Full-term babies born to mothers who use methamphetamine will likely have difficulty sucking and swallowing, much like premature babies.
  • Often babies born to meth-addicted women cannot tolerate stimuli such as human touch and light. These babies often display tremors and coordination problems.

Source: North Dakota Department of Health

Long-Term Effects

The effects of methamphetamine use on brain development may last for many years. School-aged children whose mothers used methamphetamine while pregnant are more likely to be hyperactive or to have attention deficit disorders, learning disabilities and unprovoked fits of anger.

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