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Mothering under the influence: How perinatal drugs of abuse alter the mother-infant interaction
Abstract and Figures
Although drug-abusing women try to moderate their drug and alcohol use during pregnancy, they often relapse at a time when childcare needs are high and maternal bonding is critical to an infant’s development. In the clinical setting, the search for the neural basis of drug-induced caregiving deficits is complex due to several intervening variables. Rather, the preclinical studies that control for drug dose and regimen, as well as for gestational and postpartum environment, allow a precise determination of the effects of drugs on maternal behaviour. Given the relevance of the issue, this review will gather reports on the phenotypic correlates of maternal behaviour in preclinical studies, and focus on the detrimental consequences on the mother-infant interaction exerted by the perinatal use of alcohol, nicotine, cannabis, cocaine and stimulants and opiates. The drug-induced disruptions of this maternal repertoire are associated with adverse maternal and infant outcomes. A comprehensive overview will help promote the refinement of the treatment approaches toward maternal drug use disorders and maternal misbehaviour, in favour of augmented parenting resiliency.
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