Caring For The Drug Effected Infant

By: Tabitha Rimmer

Conservative estimates suggest that at least 11 percent of all newborns in the United States today were exposed in the womb to one or more illicit drugs. The number is higher in urban areas...

When a pregnant woman takes a hit of crack cocaine, the fetus loses sufficient blood and air-- and suffocates briefly. For the mother the drug's euphoric effect lasts for 20 minutes. For the growing fetus, the cocaine stays in its system for more than two weeks. In the womb the child is often re-exposed because the cocaine does not pass through the placenta to the mother but remains in the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby." (

Fetuses exposed to methamphetamines, experience the same effects as the mothers--increased pulse, respiration, blood pressure, and temperature for 72 hours after the mother's high is gone. All of this at a time when the fetus is just developing. The effects are devastating.

Birth Complications:

Problems After Birth:

Non-medical Care for Recovering Infants:

These children can lead normal happy lives if given the nurture and nutrition that they need. Be an advocate for them with doctors, educators and friends.

Tabitha Rimmer is a medical foster mother and webmaster of

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