If you are addicted and pregnant, you may find yourself torn between your concern for your unborn baby and the strong urge to seek out your next fix. There are several serious repercussions to consider regarding potentially giving birth to a baby born addicted to the drugs that are in your system.
It is important to keep in mind that these concerns are not just for the health of your baby; the repercussions could also have an impact on your legal rights to parent your child once he or she is born.
Health Risks for a Baby Born Addicted
There are serious and life-threatening health risks to be aware of if your baby is born addicted to drugs, including the following:
- Prematurity is one serious concern. Your little one could be born with lungs that are too undeveloped to allow him or her to breathe on his or her own
- Low birth weight and an inability to eat and gain weight in a healthy manner are also concerns.
- Withdrawal symptoms can include seizures, extreme sweating and fluid loss.
- Physical pain is one of the most serious side effects of withdrawal in an infant.
A baby born addicted to drugs also faces a long journey to health after being weaned off of the drugs. Some are born with permanent brain damage that results in life-long developmental problems.
Additional Concerns about Drug Tests at Birth
It is not always standard for a new mother and her baby to be given drug tests. If there is a suspicion that the mother was addicted and pregnant, then these tests should be administered.
If a drug test at birth indicates your baby is addicted to the same drug as you, it could result in a call to child protective services. Your parental rights could be severed right then and there, or at the very least, your parental rights could be drastically limited until such time as you can prove that you are acting in the best interests of your child. Losing the right to raise your child could mean that you are never granted access to his or her life. You may never see your little one’s first smile, first steps, first tooth and first day of preschool.
The sooner that you enter into rehab, the sooner you can feel confident that you will pass a drug test. Passing the drug test is more important that simply avoiding your child being taken into protective custody. Passing the drug test means that you have put your baby’s health and needs first, and it means that you can experience a life of sobriety as you enjoy each and every moment watching your child grow up.