Tag Archives: pregnancy

How Meth Use During Pregnancy Affects Neonatal Outcomes

Methamphetamine addiction is on the rise again in many areas. Meth use by pregnant women resulted in a number of negative neonatal outcomes, according to results from a systemic review and meta-analysis published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine. The review indicated meth use during results in a measurable decrease in the following:

• Infant birth weight
• Head circumference
• Body length
• Gestational age at birth

The review also found that expectant mothers who were exposed to methamphetamine didn’t experience “excessive pregnancy complications” due to their illicit drug use.

Pregnant Women “Vulnerable Population” for Meth Use

Dr. Dimitrios-Rafail Kalaitzopoulos, from the Reproductive Endocrinology Unit, First Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, wrote that pregnant women are one of the “vulnerable populations” that use methamphetamine. Dr. Kalaitzopoulos stated that data about the effects of meth use during pregnancy is limited, since existing studies have involved only small samples and have not accounted for the participants using other drugs as well as methamphetamine.

The investigators examined several types of materials while conducting their review, including an orderly review of clinical literature and a deep dive analysis of case-control studies. They included studies which compared women who were exposed to methamphetamine during their pregnancy with a control group who didn’t use meth.

Multiple Studies Examined by Researchers

Eight studies involving a total of 626 participants who used methamphetamine during pregnancy and 2,626 women who didn’t use the drug during pregnancy (the control group) were examined and analyzed. The results showed no difference (statistically) between women who used meth during pregnancy and the control group on preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) rates.

Dr. Kalaitzopoulos pointed out there was a limitation to this type of meta-analysis due to the methods used to identify pregnant women who used meth. The ones who were recruited into the methamphetamine users group were placed there through a combination of self-reporting and toxicological reports, such as maternal urine tests, meconium tests performed on the infant’s first bowel movement or neonatal urine toxicology. In some instances, self-reporting only was used or taking a urine sample from the infant only was used.

None of these methods is considered ideal. To determine the extent of maternal drug use, all these methods should be used together, according to Dr. Kalaitzopoulos.

Study: Drinking During Pregnancy can Increase Chances of Alcoholism in Multiple Generations

alcclinexpScientists have discovered yet another powerful reason why mothers should not consume alcohol while they are pregnant. In addition to potentially causing birth defects, learning disabilities and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, babies who are introduced to alcohol while in the womb are more likely to have problems with alcohol in the future, according to new research.

The study, which appears in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, found that not only are those babies at greater risk for alcohol problems, but so is the next generation after them. While this is the first research study that explores this phenomenon, it does continue to illustrate the danger that alcohol poses to mother and the baby and to future generations.

“Our findings show that in the rat, when a mother consumes the equivalent of one glass of wine four times during the pregnancy, her offspring and grand-offspring, up to the third generation, show increased alcohol preference and less sensitivity to alcohol. Thus, the offspring are more likely to develop alcoholism. This paper is the first to demonstrate trans-generational effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy on alcohol-related behavior in offspring,” commented Dr. Nicole Cameron, lead author of the study.

In order to conduct the study, researchers examined pregnant rats that were administered alcohol. After they gave birth the babies were examined, and then when the babies were old enough to have babies, those offspring were then tested for alcohol sensitivity as well. These rats also showed a tendency to want to consume alcohol compared with rats who were never exposed to it. Children who are born to mother’s that drink alcohol are being set up for a life that alcohol has the potential to be a real problem.

While there are mixed opinions on whether genetics or environmental factors have greater influence over future substance abuse, it is clear that people can be born with a low sensitivity. This information presents one more reason why women who are pregnant should abstain from alcohol completely.