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likipie's avatar

How does self injury (details) affect a pregnancy?

Asked by likipie (1448 points ) April 12th, 2012

This is completely random, but I was just thinking the other day about what women who self injure (specifically cutting themselves) do when they get pregnant. I mean, women who smoke or drink generally stop while they’re pregnant, at least I hope they do. But does cutting oneself affect the pregnancy at all? How so?

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10 Answers

ninjacolin's avatar

you shouldn’t cut while pregnant because the baby could fall out from your wrists.

augustlan's avatar

I guess if it caused a lot of blood loss, it could lead to anemia.

JustPlainBarb's avatar

Cutting is a sign of deep psychological issues… Yes, that will hurt the baby in the long run. Parents should be emotionally stable before they have kids. Doesn’t always happen for sure .. but that would negatively affect their child!

Keep_on_running's avatar

@JustPlainBarb may be right. If you believe in epigenetics it could affect the child born in a pretty big way. Cutting yourself is usually a symptom of something more serious like depression, severe anxiety, trauma etc. Whatever the cause, these emotional states can be passed down through “cell memory” and lead the offspring to become predisposed to the same psychiatric conditions the mother was exposed to during pregnancy.

Wikipedia does a better job of explaining it. I’m not sure I have it 100% correct – please tell me if I am completely wrong – but it’s interesting.

JustPlainBarb's avatar

@Keep_on_running Thanks… I also believe that their mental issues would affect the way they raise their kids or relate to them. You can’t be a good parent if you have unresolved issues of your own.

Trillian's avatar

Well, there could be a release of damaging enzymes, I guess. There was a study that looked at the long term effects on a fetus of starvation of the mother while pregnant. I can not remember what they were but they tracked the babies well into adulthood and the overall effects seemed linked and negative.
We know an unborn baby can hear and react to various sounds. And if there is a depression or chemical imbalance in the brain of the gestating mother, it would seem logical that there would be an exchange at the placental level. Not that this would be necessarily limited ONLY to the times of self abuse, but perhaps the levels would be higher at such a time.
Hmmmm. Good question

wundayatta's avatar

In my experience, people with mental illness can not take care of themselves for themselves. They aren’t worth it. However, we often are willing to take care of ourselves for others—especially for children. I would not at all be surprised if many women who cut were able to stop cutting while they were pregnant.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Taking your question literally, no. It won’t hurt the baby unless the mother loses a lot of blood. Smoking and drinking affects the baby because the toxins absorb through the umbilical cord. Not comparable.

abysmalbeauty's avatar

I believe that the mental state of the mother and the environment she is in when pregnant plays a big role in the demeanor of the child after birth so 1. youd have a very cranky baby, 2. youd have some severe post partum depression and 3. the mother would likely be institutionalized and the baby taken from the mother at least for a short period of time if this was discovered during or after pregnancy.

It would definitely be discovered at some point between prenatal exams or during delivery since there is a lot of nakedness… its not like you get to keep your clothes on when you are delivering a baby

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