Dr. Phil: Substance Abuse While Pregnant
Dr. Phil has been trying to reach a pregnant teen who has been abusing drugs while pregnant, putting her unborn baby’s life in jeopardy. In order to get Sara to see the error of her ways, Dr. Phil and Sara were joined on stage by the Medical Director for the Los Angeles Department of Child and Family Services Dr. Charles Sophy, and Los Angeles-based attorney and child advocate Areva Martin, who were there to talk about the unborn baby’s health and the unborn baby’s rights.
Sara said that she’s known people who used drugs while pregnant and their children are perfectly fine. Dr. Sophy was there to talk about a few things. The first thing was the risks you take when you take drugs while pregnant.
Dr. Phil: What Drugs Do To The Baby
Dr. Sophy said the earlier in the pregnancy that you take drugs, the more damage you do to the baby, whether that’s alcohol or something more serious. When you take drugs early in the pregnancy, you risk the development of the spinal cord, the brain, and the vital organs. Dr. Sophy said that she’s put “about ten or twenty barriers in this kid’s away already.” From a medical standpoint, he said that every puff or snort she takes she adds another barrier for that child.
Dr. Phil: Babies Born Addicted
Then they rolled the footage of babies addicted to drugs and this was some of the most depressing footage I’ve ever seen. Sara didn’t want to look. Dr. Sophy and Areva Martin told her she had to look, so that she would know exactly what she was doing to the baby.
Areva Martin said she wished they could show her footage of women delivering babies on the floor of prisons. Dr. Sophy said that when babies are born addicted, they’re in withdrawal because they’re craving heroin. They don’t gain weight. They vomit, they can’t suck or eat. They get diarrhea. They don’t bond to their mothers, because they’re too busy neurologically dealing with the trauma.
They also have a lot of developmental problems. They don’t talk, or they’ll suffer from mental retardation.
Dr. Phil: Is It Possible To Save This Baby?
“That’s the reality of why I agreed to talk to you, because I don’t think any young woman with a clear view of the risks were would make the decisions you’re making,” Dr. Phil said.
“I would never want to do that to my baby,” Sara said. Dr. Phil told her that it may not be too late. He said she needs to take a very different type of pre-natal care and a different regimen to try to help the baby in utero and close any gaps that may have happened. He also said that her baby might be born completely fine.
“Your baby may be completely fine. We don’t know. We need to know,” he said.