Thursday, November 7, 2019

Babies with “Hidden Issues”

Recently I came across a newspaper article about “ drug babies.” I am sure that there are kinder words used to describe babies of mothers (and even fathers) who used drugs before and during pregnancy. But as a non-smoker, usually teetotaler, and a non-pill popper, I will perhaps be humanely incorrect and write about my first awareness of “drug babies.”

As a resident and an assistant to the nurse in the Methodist Home Hospital in the summer of 1970, I often overheard conversations about the health of resident mothers and even of their babies. One situation comes to my mind after all these almost 50 years of a very young mother who gave birth to a child that summer. The nurse casually mentioned that the mother had been on drugs, which I just assumed was marijuana. That was about as much as I as a north Louisiana girl knew about drug use. Anyway, the nurse seemed more concerned about the newborn baby, since the child showed definite signs of drug withdrawal. I remember that she said that the child twitched and seemed very irritated and nervous.

I still don’t know too much about drug abuse and pregnancy, but I have the feeling that there must be more incidences of adoption of babies with “hidden issues” than we will ever know. 

As crude as it might seem, when you adopt a pet you get more information about the parents than when you adopt a human child. 

Is that still the case?

1 comment:

Mrs. Micawber said...

Someone I know has a large family of adopted kids, several of whom have fetal alcohol syndrome. It took the parents many, many years to figure out some of the behavioral and learning issues this caused. I don't think they were given any warning about the syndrome or its effects. Maybe things are better now in terms of information? I honestly don't know.

Hope you are doing well, Linda.