For millions of women around the world, spending time with their newborn baby might be some of the most spiritually moving and amazing moments of their lives. Naturally, women are nurturers, but children do seem to awaken a new sense of self-reflection and love that might not have fully existed before. For this reason, many new mothers will opt to go the natural route and breastfeed their child (what has also been proven to be an emotionally rewarding and loving experience). However, could you imagine the dangers the baby faces if their moms are taking drugs or drinking alcohol? Let’s take a closer look at how drugs and alcohol can threaten your infant while he or she is feeding.
Keep in mind that the risks do not only center around alcohol or addictive pills but also focus on medications, in general. Ultimately, your doctor can determine which drugs can stay in your system and which ones should be avoided until you have weaned your baby. Ultimately, the physician will base the decision around two criteria:
- The quantity of the drug excreted in the breast milk
- The potential short-term and long-term effects of the drug on the baby
Overall, the calculation is based on the general presupposition that the baby drinks a certain amount (estimated) of breastmilk per day. Ultimately, doctors cannot fully determine which level of a drug could harm the infant, so they use the 10% rule: if the baby receives less than 10% of a drug, he or she should not suffer from adverse side effects. In the end, though, research focusing on how drugs can affect breastmilk and subsequently babies is not common.
For now, let’s take at how certain drugs will affect a baby who is breastfeeding:
- Cocaine: overwhelming irritability, tremors, and digestive problems (diarrhea or vomiting)
- Marijuana: possible inhibition of cognitive and motor development
- Alcohol: disruption of normal sleep patterns, loss of appetite for breastmilk, brain damage
- Painkillers: greater risk of neurobehavioral depression
- Caffeine: poor sleep patterns and extreme irritability (or fussiness)
- Cigarettes: asthma, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
Seeking Treatment for Drug Addiction or Alcoholism
For individuals suffering from drug addiction or alcoholism, the path to healing can sometimes feel like a distant flicker of light in the darkness. Sometimes, you may feel like you are sinking into the muck and are unable to reach your prize. However, you must stay strong and be patient. With the right resources and a little bit of love for yourself, you can easily overcome your sickness and become healthy once more.
If you are suffering from a severe case of drug addiction or alcoholism or have a friend or loved one who is coping with this illness, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process of withdrawal and detox and guide you along the rocky road of rehabilitation. Soon enough, you will experience a faster and much more efficient recovery.
If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how you can overcome your mental illness and take an extra step toward becoming a healthier person.