Pregnancy is often described as one of the most magical times in a woman’s life. The joy of giving life and helping a new person get off to a good start in life is a wondrous feeling. For those women struggling with addiction, however, this can be a deadly and dangerous time, both for themselves and for their unborn child.
Cocaine is a very powerful drug that impacts a person’s mind, body, and social world. It does not need to be said that cocaine is dangerous and ultimately bad for people, but it needs to be said that cocaine is extremely dangerous for the unborn, who have no choice but to take the drugs that their mother takes. And during pregnancy, the risk of miscarriage is much higher when the mother uses and abuses drugs like cocaine.
In the early months of pregnancy, there is a higher risk of miscarriage due to the extremely vulnerable state of the embryo. Cocaine entering into the cells of the embryo will cause defects in growth and development, and at this critical time in development when the body is basically being created, is oftentimes deadly. While conventional wisdom is that the body miscarries when the pregnancy is not viable, sometimes the body miscarries because the pregnancy is made to be not viable, with the use of cocaine.
The even occasional use of cocaine puts the unborn at higher risk for things like birth defects, abnormalities, low birth weight, and premature birth. In the later stages of pregnancy, cocaine can cause the placenta, the part of the body that connects the fetus to the uterus, and is responsible for feeding and removing waste via the umbilical cord, to detach from the uterine wall and die. If that dies, the developing fetus has no chance. This is known as placental abruption, and is dangerous to both mother and unborn, due to the heavy bleeding that comes with the placenta being torn away.
Cocaine is also known to increase the risk for premature delivery. The use of this type of stimulant will fool the body into thinking that it is time to deliver the baby when the baby is only a few months along. A child can survive being born a month or two months early. But such premature births that cocaine can cause are essentially miscarriages. Trying to deliver a baby after four months is for all intents and purposes a death sentence and a miscarriage. And a premature birth while using cocaine can happen at any time due to its nature, and it is life-threatening.
Cocaine is a powerful drug for adults to use. It can have a tremendous, detrimental, impact on the mind, body, and community. But think of a developing baby, that does not have the same faculties, resources, and strength that an adult does. They do not stand much of a chance in utero, having no defenses and being forced to take this drug. It is damaging, and often deadly, and cocaine can and does cause miscarriages.