Effects of prenatal care on neonates born to drug-using women

Abbey B. Berenson, Gregg S. Wllkinson, Louis A. Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


This study examined whether prenatal care ameliorates the adverse effects of illicit drug use during pregnancy. We reviewed medical records of 336 women who delivered at the university hospital for results of urine drug screens, maternal history, infant outcome, and presence of prenatal care. Ninety-one women tested positive for illicit drugs, of whom 60 obtained prenatal care. We associated use of marijuana with increased risk of fetal distress; cocaine use with decreased birth weight, smaller head circumference, anemia, and meconium-stained amniotic fluid; and multiple drug use with decreased weight and meconium-stained fluid. Drug-using women who obtained prenatal care delivered infants of greater weight and with larger head circumferences than did those who obtained no care (p < .05). These results confirm the adverse effects of illicit drug use during pregnancy and demonstrate that prenatal care can ameliorate some of these effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1063-1076
Number of pages14
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1996


  • Drug use
  • Illicit drugs
  • Neonatal outcome
  • Prenatal care
  • Substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of prenatal care on neonates born to drug-using women'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this