Thursday, January 16, 2014


A child who was born to a mother who did serious drugs in the womb has a high chance of growing up to have psychotic disorders and the most popular is Schizophrenia. 

What is schizophrenia ?
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that makes it hard to: Tell the difference between what is real and not real; Think clearly; Have normal emotional responses; Act normally in social situations.

What are the different types of schizophrenia ?
Paranoid-type schizophrenia is characterized by delusions and auditory hallucinations (hearing voices that don't exist) but relatively normal intellectual functioning and expression of emotions. The delusions can often be about being persecuted by a person or an organization, or feeling harassed or treated unfairly. People with paranoid-type schizophrenia can exhibit anger, aloofness, anxiety, and can be argumentative.

Disorganized-type schizophrenia is characterized by speech and behavior that are disorganized or difficult to understand, and flattening or inappropriate emotions. People with disorganized-type schizophrenia may laugh inappropriately for no apparent reason, make illogical statements, or seem preoccupied with their own thoughts or perceptions.  Their disorganized behavior may disrupt normal activities, such as showering, dressing, and preparing meals.

Undifferentiated-type schizophrenia is characterized by some symptoms seen in all of the above types, but not enough of any one of them to define it as another particular type of schizophrenia.

Residual-type schizophrenia is characterized by a past history of at least one episode of schizophrenia, but the person currently has no "positive" symptoms (such as delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, or behavior). It may represent a transition between a full-blown episode and complete remission, or it may continue for years without any further psychotic episodes

To learn more about what a schizophrenic person and what they are like read this article on January, A 6 year old schizophrenic child. 

You know what you WANT, but do you know what you NEED ?

Although you are pregnant and you are allowed to crave and indulge you want to make sure you're getting the right amount of nutrients for you baby so they can develop correctly. 

The recommended daily servings include 6-11 servings of breads and grains, two to four servings of fruit, four or more servings of vegetables, four servings of dairy products, and three servings of protein sources (meat, poultry, fish, eggs or nuts). Try to eat as little sweets and fats as you can. 

  • - Choose at least one good source of vitamin C every day, oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, honeydew, papaya, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, green peppers, tomatoes, and mustard greens are all good examples of vitamin C enriched foods! Pregnant women need 70 mg of vitamin C a day
  • Choose at least one good source of folic acid every day, like dark green leafy vegetables, veal, and legumes (lima beans, black beans, black-eyed peas and chickpeas are all good sources). Every pregnant woman needs at least 0.4 mg of folic acid per day.
  • Choose at least one source of vitamin A every other day. Sources of vitamin A include carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, spinach, water squash, turnip greens, beet greens, apricots, and cantaloupe.

- You want to choose foods high in fiber like whole-grain breads, cereals, pasta, rice, fruits, and vegetables.
- Make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals while pregnant! You should be taking a prenatal vitamin supplement.        
Eat and drink at least four servings of dairy products and calcium-rich foods a day to help ensure that you are getting 1000-1300 mg of calcium in your daily diet during pregnancy
Eat at least three servings of iron-rich foods per day to ensure you are getting 27 mg of iron daily
Just like when you aren't pregnant it's recommended that you eat healthy, remember that whatever you consume your baby consumes as well, whether it be drugs, cupcakes or salad. Make sure you are DEFINITELY fulfilling your cravings, but also doing this in moderation so you and your baby can stay healthy! 

What the baby wants is what the baby gets!

What foods are the most popular craved foods of pregnant women? 
Here and some well known and maybe surprising cravings that pregnant women have, and some healthier choices to replace them with! 
1. Ice - No one knows why by pregnant women tend to crave ice and are always chewing on it. This is a healthy enough craving, have as much ice as you please!
2. Chocolate and sweets - you don't have to be pregnant to crave these, who doesn't love some sugar?! Chocolate has a very good physiological effect on the brain and this can be a good substitute for alcohol drinking. This craving can be ok; to a certain point that is. If you find your craving chocolate and sweets too much try no sugar added chocolate sauce on some fruit.
3. Spicy foods - You crave this because spicy foods naturally make your body sweat, pregnant women tend to be a bit warmer than the average person and this will help you stay cool. (Funny how your body knows) This is an ok craving too have! 
4. PICKLES (OF COURSE) - They are ok to crave, they are inexpensive, low in calories and delicious. 
5. Chips - If you need some salt this is what your body wants! A better alternative is some popcorn, still salty but better for you and your baby. 
6. Fruit - good good good
7. Lemons - not just lemons, but sour food in general - your taste buds change while pregnant and something sour surprises your tongue! 
8. Ice cream - It's sweet and cools you off - a better alternative would be frozen yogurt with some fruit on top.
9. Soda - Helps with upset stomachs (morning sickness) but too much caffeine isn't healthy for your baby. 
10 Coffee - unhealthy for your baby, but who doesn't love coffee? Try to keep it to a minimal. 

How do you know you and your baby are healthy?

Before modern medicine the risk of the baby or the mother dying during pregnancy/childbirth was moderately high, now that doctors know what is good for the baby and the mother, it's much easier to have a smooth pregnancy and most of the time a very smooth childbirth as well!
 What does GOOD prenatal care include?
- Good eating habits before and during pregnancy 
- Frequent prenatal exams 
- Routine ultrasounds to make sure the baby is up to health! 
- Routine screenings for:
* Blood pressure problems 
* Diabetes
* Genetic Disorders 
* STDs 

What is the purpose of prenatal care? 

- Monitor both the mother and baby throughout the pregnancy
- Look for changes that may lead to a high-risk pregnancy
- Explain nutritional requirements during and after pregnancy
- Discuss common pregnancy complaints such as morning sickness, backaches, leg pain, frequent urination, constipation, and heartburn and how to manage them, preferably without medications
- Give support to the pregnant woman and her family

 How often do you need to visit your doctor while pregnant?
* Every 4-6 weeks during the first 28 weeks of gestation
* Every 2-4 weeks from 28 to 36 weeks gestation
* Weekly from 36 weeks to delivery

At these appointments they will usually check your weight gain, blood pressure, fundal height, and the baby's heart beat (as appropriate) at each visit.They may also do urine tests each visit if needed. If you aren't having these regular checkups (WHICH YOU SHOULD BE!!!!!) and you are having any of these problems you should be sure to get to your doctors office ASAP.
- Fever 
- Chills 
- Painful Urination 
- Vaginal Bleeding 
- Severe belly pain
- Physical or severe emotional trauma 
- Your water breaks 
- Are half way in your pregnancy and your baby isn't moving as often or not at all. 

Doing Heroin While Pregnant

What happens when a pregnant woman uses heroin? 
Heroin is one of the most addictive drugs you can do, when the mother does it and it crosses the placenta the baby can become dependent on the drug, as well as you. (Maybe even more dependent because it's all they know) 
How can heroin effect your baby? 
Using heroin during pregnancy increases the chance of premature birth, low birth weight, breathing difficulties, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), bleeding within the brain (inter cranial hemorrhage), and in some cases; Infant death. Sometimes the baby can be born addicted to the drug and have very serious withdrawals. Some of the withdrawal symptoms the baby can go through are; irritability, convulsions, diarrhea, fever, sleep abnormalities, and joint stiffness. Mothers that use needles to inject narcotics are more likely to get HIV, which gives you're baby the disease as well. 
What if you're addicted to heroin while pregnant? 
GET HELP !!!!!!! 
Treating a heroin addict can be a very difficult process, when a pregnant women is addicted, it can be even more difficult because the baby can now be addicted as well. When the baby is dependent in the womb they can still have withdrawals even before they are born. If a mother goes to their health care provider about their addiction they can prescribe the mother to methadone to ween them off the drug. This is something they give to the baby after they are born as well if they are having withdrawals. 

Smoking marijuana while pregnant ...

The smoke from Marijuana (much like cigarette smoke) crosses the placenta and goes straight to the the fetus, this means that any marijuana toxins that enter the mothers body enters the babies body. Like cigarette smoking marijuana can disrupt the oxygen supply and nutrient supply to the baby. This can restrict the development of your baby (including overall length, foot length, head size and body weight), and in rare cases premature birth, miscarriage and stillbirth.) Some women who smoke marijuana during pregnancy are more likely to give birth to babies with lower birth weight, delayed breathing, an increase in features similar to those found in fetal alcohol syndrome, tremors, poor eye sight, and a "hole in the heart". There's a study that shows that babies who were exposed to marijuana have a greater risk of developing asthma, chest infections, and other breathing problems such as wheezing. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

How does smoking cigarettes harm your unborn baby ?

Babies that born to mothers that smoke cigarettes......
- Are more likely to be born prematurely which is below 5.8 lb. The more the mother smokes the more likely the baby will weigh less. 

- Have organs that are smaller or less developed than a normal baby - With less developed organs the baby can also be less developed (mentally) as a child/adult. 
- Have poor lung function
- Have a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome
- Are ill more frequently- because their immune systems become more weak (Babies born to women who smoked 15 cigarettes or more a day during pregnancy are taken into hospital twice as often during the first eight months of life.)

-Are more likely to become smokers in their future 
- When the mother is a smoker they have a higher chance of miscarriage 

- Later in the pregnancy, smoking mothers are at increased risk of the baby's placenta coming away from the womb before the baby is born which is placental abruption.This may cause the baby to be born prematurely, starve of oxygen, or even to die in the womb (stillborn).

Why is it harmful to smoke cigarettes while pregnant?

A baby gets everything from it's mother, from food to cigarette smoke. Nutrients and oxygen cine from the placenta and umbilical cord. Not only does smoking expose the baby to toxins, but it also damages the function of the placenta. When a mother smokes some of the oxygen in her blood is replaced with carbon monoxide, if this is happening the baby also has a lower amount of oxygen in it's blood. With less oxygen in the blood, the heart rate can rise and this can make them struggle for oxygen.

The Particles in tobacco smoke contain toxic substances that don't allow the blood to work in a healthy or normal way. This affects the way that the placenta sends nutrients to the baby; something essential for the babies growth.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Unsafe setting Cont.

How does anyone ever tell if a child is in an unsafe setting and has some or all of the feelings that were listed in the last post?
Teachers and caregivers should suspect alcoholism or other problems going on at home if a child continues to show a good number of these signs.
Failure in school: is this something new for them? is there effort becoming progressively worse?
Lack of friends: unusual withdrawal from classmates/regular friends
Delinquent behavior: Violence or stealing - is this normal behavior?
Frequent physical complaints: ex. headache/ stomachache - these can be caused by stress and anxiety.
Abuse of drugs/alcohol: the child could be going to these things to "make them feel better" or it could just be something they know, because of the atmosphere at home.
Aggression towards other children/elders 
Risk Taking behaviors
Depression/Suicidal thoughts 

- The children may also have overbearing, controlling personalities unintentionally to fill the role of the "parents" they don't have.
- They may also become emotionally isolated from everyone they know (comes along with depression)
- Emotional issues tend to show more as the child goes into adulthood.

There are plenty of programs that offer help to a child of a alcoholic, to an alcoholic themselves or to the family as a whole. Obviously any of these programs can be very beneficial. Programs like these give the child a sense of stability, somewhere they don't feel so alone.

What happens if the baby is sent home with an unsafe setting?

One in 5 adults lived with an alcoholic parent as a child, this means hospitals send 1 in 5 babies with parents to unhealthy homes....
Alcoholism runs in families...... Now That one child has a four times greater chance of becoming an alcoholic themselves. The other 4 children with the non-alcoholic parents find it natural to talk to their parents about their problems and anything they need. The child that will most likely become an alcoholic themselves, will never be able to talk to their parents about their drinking problem genuinely; because they are also facing the same problem. Some of the feelings this child can feel are:
Guilt: Are they the reason their parents drink?
Anxiety: Fear of fights with or between parents, what if the parents get hurt?
Embarrassment: Child won't bring friends over
Troubles with relationships: If the child has an alcoholic parent, chances are the relationship between them isn't very strong, giving this child no sense of trust.
Confusion: The parent may go through serious mood changes; ex. loving to angry... due to the use of alcohol. 
Anger: The child may become angry at the parent for the "lack of parenting" 
Depression: The child can easily feel very lonely with a household like this. 

These are only SOME of the emotional tolls that alcoholic parents can have on children.

Extra (sad) info about your baby!

How long does the baby stay in the hospital if they are suspected to be withdrawing ? 
Depending on the babies symptoms of withdrawal they could end up staying in the hospital for several weeks. Depending on whether or not they are feeding well off bottle , or breast (if mother is off drugs) and gaining the proper amount of weight. When the suspect that the baby is going through withdrawal of a hard drug they try to wean them off the drug by giving them doses of morphine. One of the side effects of morphine on babies is slower breathing and heart rate, this is something that can keep the baby in the hospital for a longer period of time, because they have to monitor the baby after they are done being given the doses of morphine.

Do the babies go home with their mother/parents? 
Most of the time the baby does go home with the mother, whether this is a positive thing or not for the baby. ALL special care nursery babies (drug addicted or not) get a social service referral and a hospital social worker follows them for the hospital stay. The social worker will make any referrals to child protective services if they are thought to be needed.Sometimes when the mother gave birth they are in jail, if this is the case the mother is put back into jail and the baby is given to the father or another family member. if worse comes to worse and the child has no safe family member to go to, foster care steps in.