The Dangers of Cocaine Use While Pregnant | Banyan Mass

The Dangers of Cocaine Use While Pregnant

cocaine pregnancy

Expectant mothers often fear for the health of their unborn child.

While this is warranted, so long as they follow the basic rules for a healthy pregnancy, a lot of these moms have nothing to worry about. For those women who abuse drugs, the health of the baby is a very real concern. When a woman is pregnant, doctors often advise against taking almost any medications for the sake of the baby’s health. For those women who are abusing hard drugs like cocaine, this can be especially problematic. If you are thinking about having a child,  it is important to get help before your conceive, such as our Massachusetts partial hospitalization program.

The Effects of Using Cocaine While Pregnant

Each year, 750,000 pregnancies are exposed to cocaine.1 The term “crack baby” has been used to describe children who were exposed to crack cocaine in the womb. These children were expected to have severe physical and mental disabilities, but it is now believed that these negative effects were grossly exaggerated.2 While the damage may not be as severe as many initially expected, the effects of cocaine use in early pregnancy alone can be damaging to not only yourself but also for your baby and is not worth the risk.

Cocaine use while pregnant can lead to serious problems for your child including:

  • Low birth weight
  • Pre-term birth
  • Impaired fetal growth
  • Poor or delayed cognitive development
  • Sudden infant death syndrome3

Along with these issues, cocaine use during pregnancy can cause problems with the placenta, such as placental abruption, preeclampsia, and placental infarction. All of these can lead to serious health risks for the baby including blood clotting problems, seizures, or poor kidney and liver function.3 Instead of risking the health of your future child, you should get professional help like with our drug treatment center near Boston.

While the baby may be the biggest concern, the effects of using cocaine while pregnant can be damaging to the mother’s health as well. A pregnant mother who uses cocaine may experience migraines, high blood pressure, more difficult delivery, early labor, and even seizures.1,4 The possible placenta problems can also cause serious health issues for the mother as well, including organ damage, fluid in the lungs, and even seizures after birth.3

The damage done from cocaine use while pregnant is dependent on a variety of factors such as the frequency of use, dosage, the use of other drugs, amount of prenatal care, as well as the health of the mother. Although some babies may not experience such drastic effects, cocaine use of any kind during pregnancy could lead to severe consequences. Cocaine is a highly addictive drug and even when you know cocaine use in pregnancy could harm your future child, it can be hard to stop on your own. Luckily our cocaine rehab center in Massachusetts has programs to help people quit so that they can create a better future for not only themselves but also their future child.

Whether you are looking to start having kids soon or you don’t want to ever be a parent, if you are battling a substance abuse problem, you should get help.

At Banyan Treatment Centers, Massachusetts, we want to walk you through this journey. Call us today at 888-280-4763 to get started.


  1. NCBI - The maternal, fetal, and neonatal effects of cocaine exposure in pregnancy.
  2. NPR - Crack Babies: Twenty Years Later
  3. NCBI - Cocaine abuse during pregnancy.
  4. NCBI - Overview and epidemiology of substance abuse in pregnancy.
Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.

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