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Old 09-16-2008, 08:35 PM   #11
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Re: Heroin addiction vs. FAS

I have not yet cared for a baby with FAE but I did have a little girl from birth that was heavily exposed to Heroin the first half of the pregnancy then the drug Methadone (to treat Heroin addiction) the latter half. She spent the first 6 wks of her life in withdrawal in a hospital - using Morphine. It went well.
At a year old now I can say she's a very happy baby developing normally, however she is very intense - in everything she does. She's intensly happy, intensly sad and intensly angry. I've never seen a baby so angry (she's been that way since birth). I have taken care of many babies in my lifetime and she is definitely drug affected. I think she will be okay, with the right parenting, but she could prove to be difficult to raise (just my guess). I am still in her life and always will be so it will be interesting to see how she does as she gets older.
She is very lovable - just super intense with everything.

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Old 09-17-2008, 02:22 AM   #12
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Re: Heroin addiction vs. FAS

We're foster and adoptive parents and from our experience the children with prenatal drug exposure do MUCH better than the ones with FAS. Actually, none of our drug affected children have really been affected long-term and most didn't even have the typical withdrawl symptoms either. FAS causes brain damage and life long issues.

I have no doubt in my mind that my oldest 2 children have FAE (fetal alcohol effects). We couldn't get a formal diagnosis because we don't have proof that birth mom drank during pregnancy. But they both have all of the facial features, ADHD and one of them has learning disabilities. And life is pretty challenging because my kids struggle with boundaries, social skills, they are gullible and just "don't get it" a lot of the time.

But I also want to say that even if a child doesn't have the clear cut symtoms of FAS doesn't mean they weren't exposed to alcohol and may have some permanent damage. We've been to conferences on FAS/FAE and they have said MANY more people are affected than we'll ever know. NO amount of alcohol is safe in pregnancy. It only takes one binge drinking episode before a woman even realizes she's pregnant to cause damage. And-if a person is using heroin or other drugs, the chances of them using alcohol with them is probably pretty high.
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Old 09-17-2008, 08:51 PM   #13
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Re: Heroin addiction vs. FAS

Does anyone know anything specific about cocaine/crack use age in pregnancy? Especially early on - like in the first 3 months? Just an adoption situation I read about and wanted to know what you ladies knew? Also, how does marijuana use affect the fetus? Just thinking ahead to when we have to fill out our adoption profile (even if it's month's down the road)...How does smoking affect the infant and later in life? Thanks for your input...I guess I may be yet again hi-jacking someone else's post, but it's good info. here...you ladies are so knowledgeable!
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Old 09-18-2008, 07:13 AM   #14
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Re: Heroin addiction vs. FAS

I am certainly not a doctor but according to my research:

We were totally ok with marijuana use. From merck.com
Whether use of marijuana during pregnancy can harm the fetus is unclear. The main component of marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol, can cross the placenta and thus may affect the fetus. However, marijuana does not appear to increase the risk of birth defects or to slow the growth of the fetus. Marijuana does not cause behavioral problems in the newborn unless it is used heavily during pregnancy.

From my research, they are now finding that all the "crack babies" we heard about in the 80's and 90's had symptoms that continued throughout their lives because the children stayed in bad environments which would have affected their development whether or not their mother used crack/cocaine during pregnancy. On our application, we said that we would discuss this issue, as well as meth use, "as needed".

There may be some more qualified mamas on here who can help more but wanted to share my experience.
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