The effects of the consumption of legal drugs such as alcohol and nicotine in the pregnancy on the development of the child are investigated already relatively well (see fetal alcohol syndrome). The negative consequences of the tobacco consumption for the unborn children, among other things preterm labour, smaller birth weight, postnatal retarded development and frequent breath way illnesses, are likewise undisputed.
With the illegal drugs Cannabis and LSD damages of the chromosomes were determined in the bioassay. Teratogenic damage with children of Cannabis or LSD-consuming pregnant women could be occupied however not clearly. Safe teratogenic (i.e. the embryos damaging) effects were determined with the cocaine consumption of pregnant women (Volpe 1995), among other things preterm labour, low birth weight (under 2500 g), congenital microzephaly, premature solving of the placenta and intrauterine death. Likewise brain false formations and disturbances of the development with Cocaine damaged children are more frequently. In addition, particularly with Crack consumption of the pregnant women there are strong withdrawal symptoms of the newborn child. Hyper exciting bareness, sleep times, hypertonia (high blood pressure), scull crying reduced similar symptoms of a passive dependence, as a trembling, in addition, gastrointestinal symptoms such as meteorism, diarrhea and a vomiting, as well as hectic, ineffective sucking, show the newborn children with heroin or methadone dependent mothers. These withdrawal symptoms usually arise in the first 24 hours after the birth. Their development degree depends on the duration of the long-term consumption, the before consumed dose and the height of the dose in the last 24 hours before the birth. For this reason a methadone substitution is also recommended to out-creeping dosage for nut/mother and child.
An assessment of the risk for the newborn is possible by GC/MS drug analysis of the meconium (first stool of the newborn).
Lit.: Bevot, A., Kraegeloh man, I.: Effect of the mother's alcohol and drug consumption in the pregnancy on the development of the child. Sucht 45 (5): 302-305, 1999. (In this special edition of the magazine Sucht with the central topic of interest: "Addiction and pregnancy" are further articles for the therapy of pregnant addicted women and their likewise dependent newborn children.)