The Pregnancy Risk No One Ever Knew About . . . Thanks Science!

Jeanne Sager
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File this one under syringeyou don't necessarily learn something new every day. Because I avoided the stinky cheeses. I cut out the caffeine. I bid adieu to alcohol. But today I was told it's a good thing I never freebased while pregnant

Scientists have come out with a shocking new study on the subject. They say cocaine use during pregnancy is bad for baby. And to think, all this time I thought "crack baby" meant newborn with a cleft between its butt cheeks. Huh.

You too? Well here's a doozy for you then. According to a new study in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, women who used cocaine while pregnant had about a one in three chance of having an underweight baby. Comparatively, women who said no to crack had just a one in 10 chance.

Low birth weight (anything 5 pounds, 8 ounces or smaller) puts a baby at higher risk death, mental retardation, learning problems, cerebral palsy and vision and hearing loss. Thank goodness they warned us. Now we can add this to our list of "completely preventable" birth complications.

OK. Joking over. The authors of the study know most of us are taking a "no s--t Sherlock" approach to their "findings," so they're doing damage control. This is good news, they say, because they can now quantify what a colossal screw up you are if you use cocaine during your pregnancy. 

OK, fair enough, but we've already got estimates that as much as 50,000 babies are born annually to women who used crack at some stage in their pregnancies. Many are born WITH cocaine in their systems. We've seen it cause stillbirth and spontaneous abortions. We've seen women arrested for child abuse for it. Did we really need to spend valuable research dollars to tell us something we already knew?

 

Image via Andres Rueda/Flickr

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