Police had a warrant out for for her arrest because it is illegal for pregnant women to use drugs in that state.
Jamillah Washington is the second woman in Tennessee to face charges for using drugs while pregnant.
A warrant was issued for simple assault because Washington’s baby tested positive for drugs. The medical team notified the Department of Child Services after receiving the results.
A mother and baby are connected by the umbilical cord and placenta. This means that most things that enter your body will be shared with your baby. If you use a drug, the baby will too. If you drink alcohol, the baby will too. A fetus is extremely sensitive to drugs and alcohol and cannot expel toxins like adults can. Chemicals can build in the baby’s system and cause permanent damage.
When you use, your baby uses as well. If the baby is born addicted, it can go through excruciating withdrawal symptoms. Because of withdrawal, babies can suffer seizures and strokes.
Addicted babies have low birth weight, which places them at risk for disabilities, illness, and death. It can lead to mental retardation, and learning disabilities.
Drug use while pregnant can affect babies developing organs, limbs, and central nervous system.
After pregnancy, drugs can pass through the mother’s breast milk into their babies. This can harm the baby and cause more damage to it.
Recent research shows the number of addicted babies, including addiction to prescription medication has tripled within the last 10 years. That is over 13,000 babies each year.
If you are addicted to drugs, now is the time to seek help. Mothers who are using may have an especially hard time asking for help because of the shame they feel from using.
It’s important to remember that it’s never too late to get help, and if you’re pregnant, you are not just caring for yourself, but for the life inside you as well.
No sane parent intentionally brings harm to his or her child. Addiction takes away our ability to make good choices. If you are using, now is the time to make a good choice, and seek professional help. You baby cannot choose to be drug free, only you can.
Passport to Recovery offers a list of credible treatment centers will welcome you with open arms, and free from judgement. Drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers are designed to help anyone who wants to start walking the road to recovery.