There are many health problems that are known to be associated with the use of cocaine. They include heart rhythm disturbances, heart attacks, respiratory issues, chest pain, neurological effects, seizures, headaches, strokes, stomach pain, upset and nausea and sometimes death(COCAINE http://www. focusas. com/Cocaine. html). The impact of cocaine use during pregnancy cannot be ignored as the above issues pass through the placenta to the fetus, but there is also a risk of lowered IQ in the child who was exposed to cocaine during gestation. MONITORS
There are several measures in place to help those addicted to cocaine to stop using the drug during pregnancy. Some of those include legal monitoring through a court order, social workers and mentors. All of these measures can be effective depending on the willingness of the participant and the attitude of the monitor. The attitude of the person monitoring the expectant mother can have a positive or a negative impact on the outcome. If the monitor has a positive, upbeat attitude that conveys a “WE” can do it attitude, the mother will be less apt to feel that she is being treated like an addict who is beneath society.
She will be more apt to feel that it is a team effort and that everyone involved cares not only about the health and safety of her unborn child but also cares about her health and safety. Making a pregnant woman feel that the only concern is about the baby and that she is of little consequence can further damage an already fragile self esteem which can lead to cravings to get high and numb the pain. It is important to create a team atmosphere and attitude so that the mother feels she is part of the solution and not just the problem.
The use of urinary testing as a monitor can be highly effective if the mother understands that it is to help her get past the cravings for the drug. In addition, the knowledge that she is putting her baby at risk for being placed in foster care following birth if she fails the screenings may assist her in overcoming or getting past craving the drug. Mandatory drug screens for newborn babies should be implemented for every baby, not just those who have known drug using mothers.
It should be as simple and mandatory as other tests and procedures performed on newborns. This is a tool that can have a positive impact as it creates a data base for programs to get in touch with mothers whose babies came back with a positive result. It is not necessary to instantly remove any baby with a positive result but an immediate social service referral can be implemented and that can have an early intervention impact on the newborn’s life and success rate.
CONCLUSION? Cocaine is a drug that can be highly addictive and can be harmful to an unborn baby. Few women consciously want to hurt their babies. They often need help and monitoring with their addiction to insure that they stay away from the drug during the gestational phase of pregnancy and delivery. It is important to have a team attitude so the mother believes she is part of the solution and not the problem if the monitoring is going to work.