When you’re pregnant, you transfer nutrients to your baby through the placenta. That being said, all substances you ingest can transfer too.
Cocaine crosses the placenta, and via the amniotic fluid it enters your baby. 
Cocaine can cause the placenta to pull away from the uterus, even before you go into labour.
This can lead to heavy bleeding for the mother and could be fatal for both persons involved.
Drugs can increase the likelihood of delivering before 37 weeks, also known as preterm delivery. Babies born too early are liable to:
If you don’t miscarry, cocaine can be found in the new-borns who were exposed, in their:
Being pregnant means you process drugs slowly, putting your organs under stress for longer.
This also means that cocaine stays in your baby’s body for longer.
Babies exposed to cocaine during pregnancy tend to be smaller than average, and are liable to abnormalities of the:
Following birth, if you don’t stop using during pregnancy, your baby can go through withdrawal.
Symptoms such as tremors and trouble sleeping may start 1-2 days after birth. These can get worse and last 8-10 weeks after birth.
Breastfeeding whilst using is not recommended, and is usually frowned upon.
Drugs like cocaine in any form can pass into the breastmilk, commonly known to cause seizures, this can be very damaging to your baby.
Here are some tips:
Much of what mothers ingest during pregnancy and breastfeeding is passed onto the baby. It is vital for the mother to watch what they consume.
Much of what the mother takes during breastfeeding passes on to the baby. It is thus vital for breastfeeding mothers to watch what they consume.
Not only will breastfeeding whilst using damage the nervous system on the baby, but it can also affect different aspects for the mother:
This can be detrimental to the care of the baby, leading to accidents and injury.
There is a guideline for breastfeeding and drug-dependant women from the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.
In order to breastfeed, a mother should follow these criteria:
The National Institute on Drug Abuse stated that there are around 750,000 cocaine-exposed pregnancies every year. 
This number might be significantly less than that of reality, due to the worry of losing custody of children.
The study states that children exposed to cocaine through breastfeeding and pregnancy are predisposed to being underdeveloped.
The main issues are cognitive; there are deficits in performance and information processing, leading to a poorer quality of life than usual.
Brain scans have concluded that the function of exposed children in the areas differs from that of non-exposed children:
When these children grow up, they are likely to be influenced by family or peers that also use. This means they are more likely to start using and become dependent.
It’s always good to think about how you’re going to feed your child, from breastfeeding to formula.
The benefits of breastfeeding:
There are long-term benefits for the baby, reducing their risk of cardiovascular disease, infection, and adult obesity. 
Studies have also emphasised that if the mother breastfeeds for at least 26 weeks, 6 months, then it reduces the chance of childhood leukaemia.
A baby is breast-fed or bottle-fed for the first 6 months of its life, so being a part of feeding can drastically help bond.
Breast milk also adapts as you and the child are changing. Breastfeeding has health benefits for the mother, lowering the risk of:
If you use drugs and want to get pregnant and breastfeed, we advise you to stop using. This can be difficult on your own, so we have drug treatment plans in place to help you.
Addressing your drug use can increase the quality of life for you and your baby.
Knowingly giving your child issues with development and health as a result of your habits is less than ethical, so we advise you to get help as soon as you can.
Here are some tips to reduce or stop drug use:
Always remind yourself that you are not alone. There are many mothers that struggle with substance abuse.
However, you are now not just impacting your own health, you are responsible for the health of your child.
Birthing and raising a baby is one of nature’s sweet moments, and doing your part in helping that process is your responsibility.
If you are worried about use or want to detox before a planned pregnancy, give us a call to hear about our treatment programmes.