Drug addicted mothers

  • Catherine Siney
Part of the Midwifery Practice Series book series


Drug abuse and pregnancy is not a new phenomenon but it is one that has become more widespread over recent years. For example, prior to 1970 in the New York Downstate Medical Centre the number of infants born to heroin addicted mothers was small (less than 1 in 200) but during the early 1970s these numbers increased to 1 in 69 (Harper et al 1974). This trend has continued over subsequent years. Shanley (1986) reported that the numbers of addicted women presenting at a maternity hospital in Sydney had increased from 22 in 1979 to 120 in 1985. Riley (1987) found a dramatic increase at University College Hospital in London; over the previous few years an average of 12 pregnant drug users per year had been seen there, but in 1986, 29 were seen and by the first three months of 1987, 12 had already attended.


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© Catherine Siney 1995

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  • Catherine Siney

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