Severity of drug use, initiation of prenatal care, and maternal-fetal attachment in pregnant marijuana and cocaine/heroin users

Carol Shieh, Melva Kravitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare the severity of drug use, initiation of prenatal care, and maternal-fetal attachment between pregnant marijuana and cocaine/heroin users. Design: A cross-sectional design. Setting: A prenatal clinic of a medical center in the northeast of the United States. Participants: 19 marijuana, 17 cocaine, and 4 heroin users. Cocaine and heroin users were combined in one group. Main Outcome Measures: The Severity of Drug Use Questionnaire containing 11 questions of withdrawal, dependence, and medical, legal, and interpersonal issues was used to assess the severity of drug use. Initiation of prenatal care was obtained from the chart and was calculated by weeks of gestation when care began. Cranley's Maternal-Fetal Attachment Scale measured maternal-fetal attachment. Results: Pregnant cocaine/heroin users were 6 years older, had experienced more pregnancies, had higher drug severity scores, and initiated prenatal care later than marijuana users. No significant difference in maternal-fetal attachment was found. Conclusion: Interventions to help especially cocaine/heroin users initiate early prenatal care and reduce severity of drug use are indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)499-508
Number of pages10
JournalJOGNN - Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006



  • Cocaine use
  • Comparative study
  • Marijuana use
  • Maternal-fetal attachment
  • Prenatal care
  • Substance abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Medicine(all)

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