Methamphetamine – Use in Pregnancy


It is described as the number one drug problem in America. It is relatively cheap, highly addictive, effects the population across the socioeconomic spectrum. It makes its users hypersexual and uninhibited.

When smoked, it produces a potent and very long-lasting high. Those who use the crystalline form, are awake and do not eat for 24 hours then will “crash” for the next 24 hours. Its active ingredient is pseudonephrine. It is easy to make or “cook”.

Clinical Manifestations

It creates an euphoric state, abrupt awakening, increase in energy, the person on Meth is talkative, may be elated, or be agitated. Meth causes irritability, hyperactivity, a sense of grandiosity. The effects also cause weight loss, ectopic heartbeat, urinary retention, constipation, and dry mouth.

Meth can cause paranoid delusions, violent behavior, seizures, cardiac shock, and death from over-dosage. Most of the effects are similar to that of Cocaine.

Neonatal Complications

Complications are less than what is found with cocaine users. But, a meth user may still have preterm birth, intrauterine growth restrictions with smaller head circumference.


Kitzinger, Sheila. The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth. (1996) Alfred A. Knopf.

Lowdermilk, Deitra Leonard and Shannon E. Perry. Maternity and Women’s Health Care. 9th Ed. (2007) Mosby/elsevier

Morning Sickness



The experience of morning sickness differs with each woman, and each pregnancy. It is thought that the term comes from when it generally starts, in the morning. When in actuality it can start and end at any time of the day. It can range from a mild discomfort, to constant vomiting and nausea for the first trimester or longer. It generally can begin at around 6 weeks and last until the 14 week.


  • Empty stomach, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), hunger.
  • Strong smells
  • Hormonal surges and imbalances
  • The normal pregnancy-related changes in the digestive system
  • Oily foods
  • Very sweet, sugary foods (which could include fruits).
  • Vitamin and/or mineral deficiencies
  • Lack of exercise
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Ambivalence or anxiety about the pregnancy

Normally, morning sickness is not a problem. But, it may be uncomfortable at times. Severe morning sickness with excessive vomiting may be a problem in that that dehydration and severe malnutrition may occur. In such instances a person should go to the hospital for rehydration with intravenous fluids. Note: medications prescribed for morning sickness have not proven to be safe for the fetus.

What can be done to lessen morning sickness:

  • Exercise. A lack of cardiovascular stimulation can make nausea more unmanageable.
  • Get plenty of rest, use relaxing herbs, and ask for help if you are fatigued.
  • Ambivalence about being pregnant can cause internal tension that may make it worse. Feeling guilty over the emotions is not helpful, so acknowledge what you feel and release negative thinking. Talk about it with someone.

Recommendations for your Diet:

  • Small, more frequent meals that are full of carbohydrates and protein
  • If you awaken in the middle of the night it may be that you actually are hungry. Try a snack before bed, and maybe one during the night.
  • Always carry with you nutritious food, especially if you are hypoglycemic. Hypoglycemia can cause not only nausea, but also could cause dizziness, headaches, hot flashes /followed by cold sweats, anxiety, and fainting.
  • Even if you think drinking fluids, especially water, makes the nausea worse…drink plenty of it. Dehydration can cause even more problems!
  • Chose foods that are prepared by steaming, water-saute-ing, or baking. Fried or oily foods are harder to digest!
  • Instead of sweets for quick-fuel food, eat complex carbohydrates (see nutrition hand-out).
  • Consider taking a vitamin/mineral supplement in case you have deficiencies in these areas as the cause of nausea.


  • Ginger root, grate one teaspoon of fresh ginger root in one cup of boiling water, cover and steep for 10 minutes. Try to drink without sweeteners.
  • Suck on ginger flavored hard candies or crystalized ginger.
  • Any herbs of the mint family will help, including Ceyaka.

Romm, Aviva Jill. (2003)The Natural Pregnancy Book: herbs, nutrition, and other holistic choices. Celestial Arts.


* Next topic coming up: Prenatal Tests (Other than the usual blood-panel, etc)