What is Fetal Drug Syndrome?

Fetal Drug Syndrome is a condition that can result from prenatal exposure to drugs, such as prescription and illicit drugs, during pregnancy. The effects of fetal drug exposure can vary widely, depending on the type and amount of drug involved, the stage of pregnancy, and other individual factors. Some common effects of fetal drug exposure can include low birth weight, premature birth, congenital disabilities, and behavioral and developmental problems. Some drugs, such as opioids, can also lead to withdrawal symptoms in the newborn, known as neonatal abstinence syndrome.

The long-term effects of fetal drug exposure can also persist into adulthood and include cognitive, behavioral, and emotional problems. Women need to avoid drug use during pregnancy to prevent fetal drug syndrome and seek treatment if they struggle with substance use. Healthcare providers can also provide support, guidance, and referrals to appropriate services to help women and their families navigate the challenges of prenatal drug exposure.

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