Effects of crystal meth on babies

Written by kristin davis
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Effects of crystal meth on babies
If a baby is born after her mother uses crystal meth, her brain may not function properly. (sick, ill, little girl image by Natalja from Fotolia.com)

Methamphetamine is also known as crystal meth, meth, crank and speed. Meth is a very addictive stimulant, according to EurekAlert. Those who become addicted to crystal meth may need professional help to cease dependency, including but not limited to drug rehab and counselling. The effects of crystal meth on unborn foetuses can pose a lifetime of problems. According to Babycentre.co.uk, crystal meth can adversely affect a baby's growth in the womb and produce lifetime issues like heart problems.

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Neurological problems

When an expectant mother uses crystal meth, it can damage the baby’s brain even before the embryonic period, according to EurekAlert. The baby may have difficulties with speech, motor skills, social skills and memory. These effects, according to Babycentre.co.uk, may be permanent, and reduce the ability of the child to do well in school. The baby can even develop a chemical dependency to methamphetamines after she is born. According to Babycentre.co.uk, when a baby develops a chemical dependency, her brain and body believe that she needs the drug--much like an adult.

Birth defects

The use of methamphetamines during pregnancy can cause your baby to have a low birth weight, cleft palate and other birth defects. The American Pregnancy Association reports that the use of crystal meth deprives a foetus of oxygen, which can result in respiratory problems after she is born because her lungs may not fully develop.

Crystal meth is a dirty, man-made drug often made from battery acid, cold pills and anhydrous ammonia--which are all poisonous when ingested. All of its components can pose a serious health threat to both mother and baby.

Physical symptoms

When a baby is addicted to meth, he may experience muscle spasms and tremors that are similar to an adult having the shakes. The baby may also experience withdrawal symptoms. The use of meth during pregnancy has a very similar effect as using cocaine during pregnancy, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Doctors can try to wean the baby off his dependency with the use of prescribed, controlled drugs. A baby who was been exposed to meth as a foetus may experience feeding difficulties and sleeping problems. The sleeping problems are due to the amount of stimulants meth contains. When a pregnant woman uses meth, it increases both her and the baby’s heart rate. The baby’s increased heart rate can send his heart into overload. The mother can experience premature labour, miscarriage and placental abruption.

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