Seventy-five cocaine-using women enrolled in a comprehensive perinatal care program were divided into two groups: those who used cocaine in only the first trimester of pregnancy (group 1 [N = 23]) and those who used cocaine throughout pregnancy (group 2 [N = 52]). Perinatal outcomes of these pregnancies were compared with perinatal outcomes of a matched group of obstetric patients with no history or evidence of substance abuse (group 3 [N = 40]). Group 2 women had an increased rate of preterm delivery and low-birth-weight infants as well as an increased rate of intrauterine growth retardation. Group 1 women had rates of these complications similar to the drug-free group. Mean birth weight, length, and head circumference for term infants were reduced in only the group 2 infants. However, both groups of cocaine-exposed infants demonstrated significant impairment of orientation, motor, and state regulation behaviors on the Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale.
Chasnoff IJ, Griffith DR, MacGregor S, Dirkes K, Burns KA. Temporal Patterns of Cocaine Use in PregnancyPerinatal Outcome. JAMA. 1989;261(12):1741-1744. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420120079030