6 Risks Of Using Illegal Drugs During Pregnancy

Many women are aware there is some sort of risk while doing illegal drugs during pregnancy. What some might not realize, however, just how horrible some of those risk actually are. Some women who do drugs while they are pregnant might not think they have a drug problem and do not feel the need for treatment at a rehabilitation center but they should at least be aware of the risks involved.


Using illegal drugs while pregnant can cause the mother to have a miscarriage and lose the baby. A miscarriage usually happens within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Premature Birth 

Women who do illegal drugs during pregnancy are at a higher risk of having their baby too early. When a baby is born prematurely, the baby is at risk for developing a multitude of health issues. The baby might also be required to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for an extended time.

6 Risks Of Using Illegal Drugs During Pregnancy

Health Issues for the Baby

While babies who are born early are at high risk for health problems, babies who are born at nine months are also at a higher risk when the mother is doing drugs while pregnant. Some of these health problems include a low birth weight, feeding problems and apnea.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome

Drugs can be harmful to babies while still in the womb because drugs pass through the placenta from the mom to the baby. This causes neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS) which is another way of saying the baby is born addicted to the drug. Babies born with NAS have to go through drug detoxification and there is a chance the baby would suffer long-terms effects.

Health Problems for the Mother

Mothers who are taking illegal drugs are already at risk for harming their own health but when they are taking drugs while pregnant, their risk of developing certain health problems increases. Some of these include: anemia, skin infections, blood infections, hepatitis and heart infections.

Maternal Death

The mother’s heart has to work extra hard to keep up with the pregnancy and by taking illegal drugs, this can decrease heart function resulting in death for the mother.

Taking illegal drugs while pregnant simply isn’t a good idea for the woman or the unborn baby. If women take drugs without knowing they were pregnant, the risk is minimized if they stop taking drugs within the first trimester.