Pregnancy Precautions

  An unwritten “don’t ask, don”t tell policy” {in regards to pregnant women and what they put into their bodies}was once the rule and not the exception in our society. What this means is simple: doctors delivered infants without questioning the behavior of the mother. If the infant was born defective in some way, the mother paid. The infant paid. Society paid. After all, if the mother could not afford to provide all the care the infant needed because of special costs relating to a defect, the welfare system many times provides assistance to make sure the infant is cared for. As the infant matures and becomes a school-aged child, special classes may be necessary in order to see that the child is able to participate in society in some way, either as a totally self-sufficient adult or as an adult who needs care and assistance from state and/or federal agencies.

The cost of caring for infants born with a defect that may have been wholly preventable is staggering. The key word here is “preventable.” The cost is one that is avoidable and it has taken our society until the second half of this century to decide to take action. Studies have conducted that show three or four drinks a week (of alcohol) can cause fetal damage. In fact, studies also show that one of the leading causes of mental retardation is through alcohol abuse in the mother.
Expectant mothers who use crack cocaine run the risk of prenatal strokes and seizures in their unborn babies. These problems continue after birth when the babies are born addicted to the same drug their mothers were addicted to. These babies go through the same terrible withdrawal symptoms as do their mothers. In addition to that, the babies might also be born mentally retarded or worse. Again, these problems as mentioned above are completely preventable, as long as expectant mothers do not make the choice to use drugs or abuse alcohol.

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