Report: No Amount of Alcohol Is Safe for Expecting Moms

The American Academy of Pediatrics stated that no amount of alcohol should be viewed as safe throughout pregnancy and called exposure to prenatal alcohol the leading preventable cause of birth defects and intellectual disabilities in children, Today.com reports.

In a report published in the journal Pediatrics, the Academy underscored that drinking during pregnancy can lead to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), a group of conditions that can occur in a child whose mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy and that drinking-related birth defects and developmental disabilities are avoidable through abstentions.

The Academy noted that prenatal alcohol exposure is linked to higher incidences of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and learning disabilities, such as problems with math and language, memory skills and impulse control.

Full story of alcohol and expecting mothers at drugfree.org

Costs Rise for Treating Babies Born to Mothers Addicted to Painkillers

As more babies are born to mothers who are addicted to prescription painkillers, the costs related to diagnosis and treatment of these infants are rising, according to a new report.

The study looked at newborns born at a Florida hospital over three years. The researchers found about 50 to 60 percent of babies born to mothers addicted to painkillers developed symptoms and complications related to withdrawal from opioid pain medication, known as neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).

In the first year of the study, 40 babies were born exposed to painkillers. That number rose to 57 in the second year and 63 in the third year, HealthDay reports. Babies who developed NAS stayed in the hospital an average of 23 days, compared with five days for painkiller-exposed babies who did not develop NAS.

Full story of costs treating babies born from mothers and addiction at drugfree.org

Study: Use of Opioid Painkillers in Pregnancy Increases Risks to Baby

A new study finds a woman’s use of prescription opioids during pregnancy increases the risk her baby will be born small or early. Such use also raises the chance the baby will go through painful drug withdrawal, known as neonatal abstinence syndrome, HealthDay reports.

The study of more than 112,000 pregnant women in Tennessee found almost 28 percent used at least one prescription opioid, such as hydrocodone or oxycodone. The risks to the baby increased if a woman also smoked or took antidepressants, the researchers report in Pediatrics.

Of the babies with neonatal abstinence syndrome, 65 percent had mothers that legally filled prescriptions for opioid pain relievers.

Full story of opioid abuse and pregnancy at drugfree.org