Whats your feeling?

  1. What are your feelings towards perinatal substance abuse?. Share your experiences, backgrounds, comfort in working with this problem in nursing.
    •  
  2. 36 Comments

  3. by   Louie18
    I see why this post has no responses.
    Most won't know what it means and those that do realize nothing can be done.
  4. by   Q.
    My thoughts are kind of confused.

    Here's my thoughts.
    I am pro-choice. I do not agree with habitual abortions as a means of birth control, however. I feel that there are distinct differences between a woman who chooses abortion for whatever reason, and those who have 6, 7, 8 abortions and still keep getting pregnant.
    My concept of when life begins is fragmented. As an OB nurse, I hear the heartbeat and all that well before delivery obviously. But my rationale is that the only safe definition of life, ie - a HUMAN BEING, is at birth. I feel the fetus is a "person" at birth only. Before that time, they are a fetus, an embryo, a gamete. They are "life" yes, but so are all cells in the body.

    So as far as perinatal substance abuse - I think it's wrong - but to make it illegal or punishable by law would be inconsistent with the fact that abortion is legal in our country. I can't really agree with punishing a perinatal substance abuser if I agree with abortion. It's contradictory.

    My solution? I would LOVE to implement mandatory sterilization to these women who are pregnant for the 6th, 7th, etc time, and either get abortions all the time, or keep having kids who are addicted to drugs or abused. In the long run, one tubal to these women would cost society alot less than paying for these abortions or caring for thier children. Sounds cold, yes, but that's what seeing these women and thier children do to you......

    Kristina, I'd love to hear your opinion on this.
  5. by   JennieBSN
    Yo Susy...how's it hangin'? I only have a few minutes...gotta go to bed and get a few winks before work tonight. Anyhoo, I have my own little fantasy where this whole substance abuse/repeat pregnancy/abuse the system crap is concerned. I have a fantasy that one day, there will be a 'Depo Box' at every Welfare dept. in the country. In order to receive public assistance, the female head of household would have to physically come to the welfare dept. to pick up the check and food stamps. She would have to stick her arm through a black box (like a magician would have) to reach over the counter to get her check. When her arm was in the box...WHAMMO! Nail her with a depo shot. Heh heh. I've had many patients who I've wanted to BEG the doc to do a c/s on and 'accidentally' nick her fallopian tubes in the process...ahhh, what a dream that would be. I think women who abuse drugs and/or alcohol while pregnant should 1)lose custody of the infant immediately after birth, 2)be mandated to be treated at an inpatient facility where 3)they would recieve regular shots of depo. Why depo? Because you can't skip a pill with it, can't pick it out of your arm (norplant), can't poke a hole in it, can't 'forget' to use it, and it can't break in the middle of 'the act.' Did you hear about that woman (I think it was Florida) who was paying crackheads $500 to get their tubes tied? She's my hero... Gotta go...bedtime!
  6. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Thank you, kday. I used to have this sick feeling in my gut because I too believe that Depo should be mandatory for those receiving public assistance and repeat drug offenders. Think of all the money we would save in welfare, repeat unsuccessful drug treatments, court appearances, and NICU stays! Ya know what pisses me off? At my hospital, a welfare patient has to have signed her consent for a post partum tubal at least 30 days before the procedure, to ensure that no one is being "unethical" and talking her into unwanted birth control. No other insurance requires that. Any other woman can decide to have a tubal while her epis is being repaired and her wish is granted (what woman doesn't say immediately after birth "I'm never doing this again!") No one is ever concerned about her having 30 days to think about it. So if the consent isn't done soon enough or if mom delivers prematurely (which is often the case with crackheads) the window of opportunity has been missed. The docs usually say "she can get a tubal outpatient after 6 weeks". You think we see these patients in 6 weeks? No, we see them in about 10 months to a year! I heard of the woman in Florida, and I commend her for being so brave to address this concern! That woman has got bigger balls than any man I know!

    Heather
  7. by   Navy Nurse
    Since working in a NICU, I get to witness the problems first hand. As medical professionals we seem to jump on the illegal drug cause and effect bandwagon rather rapidly, but research supports that at least 5% of all neonatal deaths are caused by mothers SMOKING during pregnancy and that millions of healthcare dollars are spent keeping the preemies on vents due to tobacco use.
    And while I don't want to get into the social issues and would like to include one group you are leaving out in this responsiblity, Dead Beat Dads. We should also press for sterilization of men who have multiple children and do ot support them.
  8. by   Q.
    Navy Nurse-
    That is an excellent idea!
  9. by   hollykate
    Don't have a very well developed opinion on the subject, but it totally amazes me that we must pass several exams to be able to operate a vehicle on the street, yet anyone with functioning organs can become a parent.
  10. by   Level2Trauma
    Originally posted by OBNURSEHEATHER:
    Thank you, kday. I used to have this sick feeling in my gut because I too believe that Depo should be mandatory for those receiving public assistance and repeat drug offenders. Think of all the money we would save in welfare, repeat unsuccessful drug treatments, court appearances, and NICU stays! Ya know what pisses me off? At my hospital, a welfare patient has to have signed her consent for a post partum tubal at least 30 days before the procedure, to ensure that no one is being "unethical" and talking her into unwanted birth control. No other insurance requires that. Any other woman can decide to have a tubal while her epis is being repaired and her wish is granted (what woman doesn't say immediately after birth "I'm never doing this again!") No one is ever concerned about her having 30 days to think about it. So if the consent isn't done soon enough or if mom delivers prematurely (which is often the case with crackheads) the window of opportunity has been missed. The docs usually say "she can get a tubal outpatient after 6 weeks". You think we see these patients in 6 weeks? No, we see them in about 10 months to a year! I heard of the woman in Florida, and I commend her for being so brave to address this concern! That woman has got bigger balls than any man I know!

    Heather
    A woman with balls, She can't be a nurse then. At least I haven't met any with balls.
  11. by   Louie18
    I feel any pregnancy is up to the female to decide wether abortion is the answer. (even though it's a million to one chance of my having one sperm live) However the entire situation falls upon socioeconomic status and available education.
  12. by   CEN35
    Susy K, KDay and Heather? I have a question? I think you all read my mind and posted my thoughts exactly?

    Rick
  13. by   JennieBSN
    .
    Last edit by JennieBSN on Dec 8, '01
  14. by   janbeveridge
    I too work with drug addicted infants going through withdrawal,infants with fetal alcohol syndrome, etc, and yes it does make me very angry. I have 3 very healthy kids, and I take pride in the fact that I gave them a good start by providing them with a healthy uterine environment. However, I don't know exactly what the answer would be in order to help these families and children. We know that jail time does little to break a person of an addiction ( what better place to get drugs but in jail). Other punitive stances do little to help as well. Judgemental attitudes also do not help. I know that many of these women were abused themselves , are poor , frequently in abusive relationships, and all round horrible circumstances. Some of the Moms we see in our unit themselves have fetal alcohol syndrome. Are they to blame, maybe in some instances, maybe partially, but not all of the time. Its easy for me to say don't take drugs when your pregnant, get prenatal care, eat well etc,etc,, when I enjoy a middle class existence, have acess to universal health care (I live in Canada), and have a wonderful husband, family, and friends that support me. This is often not the case for these women. I do agree that a method of birth control should be ulitized until these women can (or if and when) get their lives together. I do not live in a dream world, nor do I agree with what these women and men do to their children. I do believe that these women DO NOT want to do this to themselves or their children. And every once in awhile we get a sucess story that, helps me reflect, think and again reach out to try and help. Its too bad that most days I feel like I'm banging my head against the wall. It is an area that could use more research, funding etc, to try and break the cycle.

close