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LexiMcCall

English4
Mrs.Battle
16March2016
Pregnancy
Whatwouldhappenifyouweresomeonewhodealtwithlifelongissuesduetoyour
motherusingdrugsoralcoholduringpregnancy?Wouldyoueverbeabletoforgiveyourmother
forthat?Accordingtothe
NationalInstituteonDrugAbuse,
every25minutesababyisborn
sufferingfromOpioidwithdrawal.Allchildrendeserveagoodandhealthystarttotheirlife.In
orderforthebestoutcomeofthebaby,pregnantwomenneedtobeeducated,supported,and
screenedthroughoutpregnancy.
DrugsandAlcoholcancausemanyproblemstoababy.Dr.TheresaGauthier,associate
professorintheDepartmentofPediatricsatEmoryUniversitySchoolofMedicine,statesthat
currentresearchshowsthatdrinkingalcoholwhileawomanispregnantcancauseproblemswith
thebabysimmunesystemandcancauseahigherriskforthebabytobebornwithadiseaseor
cancausethemtohavelifelongissues.Anotherkeyfindinginherresearchisthatalcoholmay
haveindirecteffectsontheimmunesystembyincreasingtheriskofprematurebirth(Gauthier).
Additionally,Gauthierclaimsthatithasbecomecommonknowledgethatalcoholuseduring
pregnancycancauseotherdifficultieswithaninfant,suchasFetalAlcoholSyndrome,Fetal
AlcoholSpectrumDisorders,andalsocancauseissueswiththeirkidneysastheygetolderand
brainproblemsaswell.ThisproblemisprevalentamongpregnantwomeninAmerica.Notably,
researchbyBakhirevaandSavagefoundthatoneineveryeightwomendrinkalcoholand

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continuetoduringpregnancy,andasaresulttheirbabiesdevelopFetalAlcoholSyndrome
(BakhirevaandSavage).Whenmomswhoreportedanyalcoholuseorsmoking,thosebabies
wereatahigherriskforinfections(Gauthier).Alcoholinbabiesisalsoknowntocausean
increasedriskofinfectionininfants.Infact,...inuteroalcoholexposureisassociatedwith
prematurebirth,whichindependentlyincreasesimmunerelatedrisks(Gauthier).Accordingto
theresearchGauthieruncoveredalcoholuseduringpregnancycanincreasethechancesfor
neonatalinfectionsinnewbornsbornearlyandbornontime.Gauthierdidstudiesthathavealso
proventhatingestingalcoholinthesecondtrimestercausedthemostissuestobabiesbecause
thatiswhentheneonatalimmunesystemisformingthemost.FetalAlcoholSyndromehasbeen
knowntocausemalformations,andFetalAlcoholSpectrumDisorder(FASD).
Drugshavealsobeenknowntocausemalformationsinbabies.Withthisinmind,
Bellumsresearchstatesthatin2008and2009,aboutoneinsixteenpregnantgirlsagesfifteen
toseventeenusedillegaldrugsduringtheirpregnancy.Illegaldrugscancausetonsofdamageto
ababyinthewomb.Itcansetthemupforlifelongproblemsthattheycannotgetridof.Even
withthatbeingsaid,thingsassmallassecondhandsmokehavebeenknowntocauseproblems,
suchasbabieslungsnotdevelopingproperlyandprematurebirths.Toputitintodifferent
words,Bellumstatedthatbabiesborntomotherswhohaveuseddrugs,tobacco,and/oralcohol
duringpregnancyhavecausedtheirbabiestobebornsmall,haveproblemseatingand/or
sleeping,havetroublesinschoollateroninlife,hearingand/orseeingissues,bebornearly,
growslowly,havewithdrawalsymptomssuchasfever,vomiting,poorsleep,andshaking,heart
problemsand/orstrokes,notbeabletobondwiththeirmothers,andalsosufferlifelong
disabilities.

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Certainstatesbelievethatwomenwhoarefoundusingdrugsand/oralcoholduringtheir
pregnancyshouldhaveconsequences,andbechargedfordoingso.Inmanystatesitisactuallya
criminaloffensetohaveapositivedrugscreeningduringpregnancyoratthetimeofbirth(1See
graphicbelow).Steelereportedthatduetoanincreaseofbabiesbeingbornaddictedtodrugs
andhavingwithdrawaltheywanttostartprosecutingmothersthatarefoundusingdrugsduring
pregnancy.InCalhouncountyprosecutorshavebeengettingtogetherwithdistrictattorneys
tryingtomakeitarulethatwomenshouldbedrugtestedduringpregnancyandrightatthetime
ofbirth.Statewide,191childrenyoungerthan1yearsoldenteredfostercareasaresultof
parentaldrugabuse.Steelespoketotonsofpeopleinchargeandtheystatedthatarepushingto
makeitalawthatinresultofapositivedrugtest(s)throughoutpregnancyand/orattimeofbirth
womenbecharged,theysayItslikeanyothercrime.Thelawisoutthereandweenforceit.
Theywouldlikethechargetobeassault.EveryoneagreesthatInfantdrugwithdrawalisa
veryseriousandharmfulissue.Atthelatestcount,accordingtotheNationalAdvocatesof
PregnantWomen,60
womenhadbeen
chargedunderthelaw
forgivingbirthto
babieswithdrug
withdrawal
symptoms.

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/05/intothebodyofanother/392522/

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Anymedicationamothertakesduringpregnancycanpotentiallyaffecttheunbornchild.
Rochmanreportedthatevenoverthecountermedicineshavebeenknowntohavewarningsfor
womenwhilepregnant,sowhatdopeoplethinkourprescriptionmedicinesaredoingtoour
babies?TheFoodandDrugAdministrationhasmadefivecategoriestoinformwomenofhow
badthemedicationwillbetothebabythecategoriesrangefromAbeingthesafesttoXbeing
themostsevere.Womenneedtobeinformedonthesethingsbeforetheycontinuetotake
medications,sothatinthelongruntheydonotfeelguiltyfortheirbabycomingoutwithissues.
Itisimportanttorealizethatabout500,000pregnantwomenbattlepsychiatricillnesseseach
yearthatrequiretreatment.InBennett'sresearchshefoundoutthatallpsychiatricmedications
crosstheplacentaandreachthedevelopingfetus,andsomeofthesedrugsincreasetheriskof
certaincongenitalmalformations.Twodifferentrisksthatawomenshouldtakeinto
considerationare:harmtotheunbornchildanddangerthatcouldhappenifthemotherdoesnot
havehermedicationsheneeds.However,iftakenattheendofthepregnancyorduringdelivery,
yourbabyhasasmallerchanceofhavingsideeffects.Bennettsaiditisknownthatabout
twentyfivepercentofnewbornscomeoutwithtemporaryproblemssuchastremors,
restlessness,mildrespiratoryproblems,andaweakcryatbirthwhenpregnantwomenuse
SelectiveSerotoninReuptakeInhibitorsattheendofpregnancyorduringdelivery.Also,itis
importanttonotethatcertainprescriptiondrugscancausepretermlabor,andpretermlaborcan
leadtodevelopmentalissuesanddelays.But,youshouldknowtherearealwaysalternative
methodstotreatingthesedisordersotherthanjustmedications,therearealsothingssuchas
counseling,peersupport,relaxationtechniques,prenatalyoga,andmanymoreoptionsfor
pregnantwomen.

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Prenatalvitaminsduringpregnancyareanecessity.Theyarebeneficialtoadeveloping
babyinthewomb,andalsoforamotherduetothefactthatthebabyistakingallofhernutrients
tohelpformintoahealthybaby.MayoClinic.comsupportsthisbysayingthatduringpregnancy
awomanneedsextravitaminsandmineralstohelpsupportthemselvesandthebaby.Given
thesepoints,MayoClinic.comfurtherinformspregantmothersthatFolicAcidisakey
ingrediantinaprenatalvitaminsFolicAcidhelpspreventdefectsintheneuraltube,andhelps
thebabygrowstronganditisalsoanaidsothatthecontinuetodevelopproperly.Prenatalshelp
womenkeepuptheirstrengthandthemstayhealthybecausethebabyisrelyingonalltheir
mother'simmunesystem.Afterall,beingpregnantreallyisafulltimejob.Overall,Prenatalsare
agreatwaytogetwhatwomenneedbefore,during,andafterthepregnancytoprovideallthe
vitaminsneededtoensureyouhaveahealthybodyandbaby.Prenatalvitaminsareveryeasyto
get,andtheyaresoldatjustaboutanystore.MayoClinic.comsuggestseatingasnackbefore
takingthepilloreventakeitatnighttimerightbeforefallingasleep.Overall,thebenefitsof
Prenatalsoutweighthefactthatyoumayfeelsickaftertakingthem.
Nutritionandtheproperdoctorcareduringpregnancyisessentialtomaintaininga
healthypregnancyandbirth.Stayingontopofallappointmentsduringpregnancyisvery
beneficialtoensuremotherandbabyarestillhealthyandtoensurethattherearenoproblems
thatarise.Washingtoninformer.comgaveusanestimateofdoctorvisitsyoushouldhaveduring
theweeksofwomenspregnancy,atzerototwentyeightweekswomenshouldseeadoctoronce
everymonth,attwentyeighttothirtysixweekstheyreccomendmothersbeseenonceeverytwo
weeks,atthirtysixweeksupuntilbirthwomenshouldhaveavisiteveryweek.Prenatalcare
shouldstartassoonasawomenreceivesthenewsthatsheispregnant.Washingtoninformer.com

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adviseswomanthatwishtobecomepregnanttostartearlyonprenantalvitamins,takethem
before,asitcanincreaseschancesofconcieving.Aprenatalvitaminwith400800micrograms
offolicacidiswhatyouneedeveryday.
Havingahealthydietduringpregnancyisalwayskeytoahealthybaby.Womancannot
eatcertainfoodsduringpregnancy,andsomearerecommended.Inthiscase
washingtoninformer.comsaysthatbiggerfishsuchasSwordfish,Shark,andTilefisharebad
duringpregnancybecauseofthehighamountsofmercury.Fruits,Vegetables,WholeGrains,
andfoodshighincalciumaregoodforababyithewomb.Whenpregnantyoushouldbe
drinkinghalfyourbodyweightinwater.
Inclosing,forababytohaveasuccessfullifewomenneedtohaveastrong
supportsystem,propereducation,andscreeningsthroughouttheirpregnancy.Additionally,
accordingtoSamanthaMcClain,anursewithNurseFamilyPartnershipsinAsheville,NC,early
accesstohealthcareandaccessingresourcesasneededwillensureahealthypregnancy.Itis
clearthatwithoutpropereducationwomenmaynotknowabouttheeffectsofdrugsandalcohol
duringpregnancywhichhavebeenknowntocauselifelongissuestoadevelopingfetus.Finally,
theworldisalreadyhecticenoughfortheaveragechildwhywouldanyonewanttoaddonto
that?Everybabydeservestheopportunitytoahealthyandhappylife.

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WorksCited
Bakhireva,LudmilaN.,andDanielD.Savage."FocusOn:BiomarkersOdFetalAlcohol
ExposureandFetalAlcoholEffects."N.p.,2011.Web.17Mar.2016.
Bellum,Sara."UsingDrugsWhenPregnantHarmstheBaby."Drugs&HeslthBlog,26Sept.
2013.Web.12Nov.2015.Thisarticlestatesthatusingdrugswhenpregnantcauses
problemswiththebaby.Thissourcehelpedmewithmyresearchbybackingupmy
opnionthatdrugsandalcoholharmsababy.Itwasamazingtomethatabout1in6
pregnantteensusedillegaldrugsduringpergnancybetweentheyearsof2008and2009.
"CaringforYourBaby:Before,DuringandAfterPregnancy."
CaringforYourBaby:Before,
DuringandAfterPregnancy
.TheWashingtonInformer,11Mar.2015.Web.10Mar.
2016.Keepingupwithprenatalvisitsandeatingrightisabigpartofpregnancy.This
sourcehelpedmebecauseilearnedhowmanyprenatalvisitsyoushouldhaveeach
trimester.Itamazedmebecauseyoualwaysthinkof"eatingfortwo",butreallyyouonly
need300caloriesmoreaday,butdoublethevitamins.
"EPublications."
PrenatalCareFactSheet
.Ed.JohnW.Schmitt.USDepartmentofHealthand
HUmanServices,16July2012.Web.12Nov.2015.
Gauthier,TheresaW."BrowsebyTopic."
PrenatalAlcoholExposureandtheDeveloping
ImmuneSystem
.NIAAA,n.d.Web.11Mar.2016.
<http://www.arcr.niaaa.nih.gov/arcr/arcr372/article11.htm>.
Gauthier,TheresaW."BrowsebyTopic."
PrenatalAlcoholExposureandtheDeveloping
ImmuneSystem
.NIAAA,n.d.Web.11Mar.2016.
<http://www.arcr.niaaa.nih.gov/arcr/arcr372/article11.htm>.

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McClain,Samantha."SamanthaMcClainInterview."Personalinterview.17Mar.2016.
"PregnancyWeekbyWeek."
MayoCLinic
.HeslthyLifestyle,13Jan.2015.Web.12Nov.2015.
"PrescribingduringPregnancy."
HarvardMentalHealthLetter
25(Dec.2008):13.
Harvard
HealthPublications
.HarvardMedicalSchool,1Dec.2008.Web.11Mar.2016.
<http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/Prescribing_during_pregnancy>.
Rochman,Bonnie."PregnancyandPills."
Time
8June2009:5153.
MASComplete
.Web.21
Oct.2015.
Steele,Cameron."FetalArgument:CountyDAtoBeginProsecutionofMothersWhoUseDrugs
duringPregnancy."
TheAnnistonStar
30Sept.2012:n.pag.
NewspaperSourcePlus
[EBSCO]
.Web.21Oct.2015.Thiswasacourtcaseabouthowtheyarewantingtostart
chargingwomenwhousedrugswhilepregnant.Ithelpedmebecauseithinkcharges
shouldbetakenoutonwomenwhousedrugsand/oralcoholduringpregnancy.Itreally
suprisedmeabouthowbadthewithdrawlsymptomsareforbabies.