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Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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Crack Babies

Since there seems to be a few people from the medical field on this board, can anyone tell me the real deal on crack babies. I've searched the web, and there are so many conflicting points of view. The mother smoked alot of crack ($300-$400) a day for the first 7 months, and still might be. She also had no pre-natal care until her 7th month (went to the doctor once). If anyone has had any real life experience with this, please let me know. Also, please pray for this innocent child.
11 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi Kate,  God Bless this child...I do not know a whole lot about crack babies except this and please everyone and anyone, if I am wrong your corrections will be greatly appreciated.  I don't think that all of the effects of crack and the newborn may be known for awhile down the road.  Perhaps until the child is 5 or older. Sorry this is all i know.  When I was in nursing school there just was not this kind of problem to worry about.  I don't think we really ever heard of crack as we know it today.  I guess I am dating myself.  A very good friend of mine is a chemical dependancy counselor and she works in a pregnant woman's rehab. She is very up to date on this kind of stuff.  If you would like i could get in touch with her and maybe you can e-mail each other?  PS.   I did leave hospital nursing and now work in a pre-schoolas a nurse/teacher  Some of the children I do work with have been crack exposed pre-natally and are now exhibiting signs of behavior problems, defiant, aggressive, some are in foster homes and have severe attachment disorder, ADHD and ADD.  I hope even in some small way I have been of help to you.  Good luck and God bless you as well as this baby.   cindi
Avatar universal
I had my dtr 5 yrs ago at a big hospital in phila. There was a problem diagnosed while I was 5 mos. pregnant. Since I was considered high risk I had to tour the neonatal intensive unit. After she was born she was in the hospital for 17 days following an operation the same nite she was born. Anyway, I got to see first hand other infants in the intensive care unit. Several were babies born addicted. The sight of these tiny preemies would break your heart. I believe any women using drugs should be made to see this sight. These tiny babies were crying and irritable and nothing could soothe them. Touching them only made things worse for them. They would be shaking (tremors) agitated and couldn't sleep. As you know babies are supposed to sleep around 18 hours a day. The nurses would do several tests with their hands to rate their degree of addiction. One test would be to hold the baby up away from the isolette a few feet and let them go to fall slightly into their hands. Babies who were addicted would flail their limbs out wildly. It was a horrible sight to witness. They were suffering withdrawl and had no choice.  Sometimes the mother wouldn't even come to see them. I was there day and night so I pretty much knew who was who.
Avatar universal
Thanks so much for responding. This is just eating my heart out. I would love to e-mail your friend if it's OK with her. She can reach me at ***@****. Thanks again. Kate
Avatar universal
Hello, I have some real life experience with a "crack baby".  A little over a year ago, I had a friend who was a "crack head".  She was planning on getting an abortion but kept spending the money on crack.  When I met up with her, she was 5 months pregnant (couldn't tell as she gained very little weight).  Anyway, I started looking in the phone book for abortions and when I found out she was 5 months (she told me) I was appalled and then put my arms around her and helped her make her first appointment with a doctor.  She cried and reluctantly agreed to go (she kept saying, but I can't have this baby!!).  Anyway, she went to one ultrasound and 1 or 2 appointments and I think she continued to smoke it right up to delivery.  The baby was born addicted with meconium staining in the ambiotic fluid (The baby had it's first "meconium" stool before birth indicating distress).  She was born proper height and weight.  Of course DYPHYS (that how you spell it?) got involved and after this girl stayed straight 3 months, she relapsed and left the baby in the care of it's father.  The baby was then taken and placed in foster care at about 5 months because the father could no longer care for it.  The baby seemed to be normal in every way but I don't know what the long term neurological (brain) effects will be - those are the things that crack usually affects - the child's ability to think, reason, sit still, concentrate, etc.  So the answer, I'm guessing would be that you will not know if this child is adversely affected until a later date (if no symptoms are showing now).  Good luck and God Bless, Maryanne
PS - addicted babies usually have trouble with feeding, sleeping and generally getting consoled easily while crying, they also usually have a high pitched cry at birth (almost a screech - something you will never forget once you hear it)
Avatar universal
Hi Kate,  Mary ann is right .  I do remember hearing that crack babies do have the high pitched unmistakable cry.  I will send my friend your e-mail.  You may have to give her a few days to respond. She does not have ready access to a computer all the tme.  take care  Cindi
Avatar universal
I know I speak for tom when I say that cocaine and all its variants -- crack, freebase, whatever -- constitute the greatest pharmacological evil ever inflicted on modern society. Cocaine as a species of plant life should be extinguished from the Earth's ecosystem -- whatever the cost. The threat posed by the coca plant justifies the military occupation and subjugation of the South American countries involved in its cultivation regardless of the diplomatic consequences and the forcible destruction of all means of cultivation of this horror of horrors. Cocaine should be treated as if it was plutonium about to be injected into the world's water table. Cocaine is death.
Avatar universal
I just asked God to help this innocent baby,my heart also goes out to the mother,I think their is a chance both will one day be sitting in a park and the baby will gigle as she plays and the sun will be shining down upon them both,that will be god smiling at them.
Avatar universal
hey my name is Sarah.  i am 18 yrs old i have a baby he is a crack baby but i didn't smoke it all the time with him he is fussy very fussy he is in care for 6 months i feel really lonely for him i also feel bad  i also don't know what else his side affects are can anyone tell me
279742 tn?1190245122
Hon, you posted to a very old message. If you start a new post you will get allot more responses from folks that can help you.

All you have to do is click in the post a question link and you can post a new question.. Good luck sweetie and hang in there!
Des
Avatar universal
y neighbor took in 2 children 2nd cousins of a drug addicted mother.  The first has mental retardation- he is 5 years.  The second who is turning 3 has started to exhibit problems with aggression, sleep disturbance and pours cream- crisco anything he can over himself and she says that this soothes in. In-home services are basically no  help at all- and this woman has literally reached her limit- does anyone know how to access more services?  This is Phila. PA.
Avatar universal
At another location on this site a PhD stated that there are not long term effects of crack cocaine babies- I disagree.  I have been an administrator for many years at residential treatment programs around Phila. PA and the kids placed there with fetal damage due to this drug were indeed permanently impacted.   His statement that other factors influence the longevity of complications to me is shocking- however he has given research link to substantiate his remarks. I will read that and share with the group however the proof is living with these children and attempting as a professional to have them enter society as responsible citizens-  I'd love to know the real deal.
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