In Cocaine Addiction
cocaine's effect on an unborn child

Cocaine is a highly addictive drug that is difficult to quit on your own.

Without the help of a rehab, many people may find it nearly impossible to control their addiction because of the withdrawal symptoms and the psychological hold the drug has over you. Part of overcoming an addiction for long-lasting recovery is the mental struggle with drug cravings and without the proper motivation, many people may fail. What better motivation is there than your baby? As an addiction treatment center for pregnant women, we are discussing the effects of cocaine on a fetus to give you the extra push you need to stay strong.

How Does Cocaine Affect A Fetus?

Pregnant women are often told to avoid common over-the-counter drugs, let alone an illegal drug like cocaine.

Not only is cocaine bad for your health but using cocaine while pregnant can lead to serious consequences for your unborn child.

One of the most dangerous effects of cocaine on a fetus is what it can do the baby’s heart. There appears to be significant cardiovascular effects related to cocaine use in humans. In prenatal exposure in particular, the fetus can experience arrhythmias, decreased cardiac output, and increased risk of heterotaxy heart disease.1 These problems could affect your child drastically for the rest of their life.

Cocaine can also often have significant effects on the central nervous system depending on dose, frequency, and exposure. While some studies in the past about “crack babies” showed drastic, skewed results, there is evidence that prenatal cocaine exposure can lead to an increased risk of ADHD from problems associated with cognition and attention systems as well as an increased risk that the child will require special needs programming.2 While these problems may not be as alarming as past research had suggested, these problems are life-long issues that could have been avoided with cocaine addiction treatment.

The effects of cocaine on a fetus can lead to serious problems like miscarriages, preterm labor, and increased labor difficulty in general. If the baby is born early, it will often suffer from low birth weights and could have other health issues.

It is clear that cocaine and pregnancy should not mix. An inpatient detox center like ours can help you remove your dependence on the drug and move forward happily so that you can be the best mother for your future child.

If you are struggling to overcome your addiction or you know someone who needs help, get help today at our rehab centers in Pennsylvania. For the sake of your loved ones or just yourself, do not wait. Do not be ashamed. Call us today at 570-536-9621 to learn more and to get started on you path to a brighter future.


  1. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health – Short- and long-term adverse effect of cocaine abuse during pregnancy on the heart development.
  2. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health – Prenatal exposure to drugs: effects on brain development implications for policy and education


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