Drug Endangered Children
Meth and Pregnancy
"You feel the baby kick when you put the needle in," said Farrell, 29, a waitress who injected the illegal drug up to five times a day through the seventh month of her pregnancy. "You're aware you are doing something harmful, but you don't care."
Even before birth, Meth can threaten a child's well-being. Meth use during pregnancy can reduce blood flow to the fetal brain, cause the placenta to pull away from the uterine wall, retard the growth of the child. It increases the incidence of birth defects and miscarriages. Some babies suffer brain hemorrhages - strokes - before birth.
Meth affected babies, even if they are full-term, act like premature infants. They experience difficulty sucking and swallowing, sensitivity to touch, shaking or tremors, and often demonstrate abnormal reflexes and extreme irritability.
These children often continue to have physical, emotional and mental difficulties as they grow.
The 2018 South Dakota Legislature passed a bill allowing Medical providers to test new born babies for drug exposure when they feel there is a medical neccesity for the safety and best interest of the child.