NY Daily News – BY MEREDITH ENGEL
New movie, ‘Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck,’ features Love’s shocking news. It is unclear when she did it or how much heroin she took.
Doctors and mothers are hating on Courtney Love for using heroin during her pregnancy two decades ago.
Love, 50, made the shocking admission in the new biopic “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck,” which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival this week.
“I used it once, then stopped,” Love claims in the film. “I knew she would be fine.”
Kid tested, perhaps, but mother disapproved.
“Why would a pregnant mother put their baby’s health in jeopardy?!” asked an incredulous Lyss Stern, a 41-year-old mother of three from Midtown.
She said Love’s decision to use “is negligent and makes me very upset.”
A one-time use of heroin isn’t likely enough to produce withdrawal symptoms in a baby, but still isn’t safe, said Dr. Jennifer Wu, an ob/gyn at Lenox Hill Hospital.
“You are risking your baby’s life by using a drug that passes directly to the fetus,” she said.
A toxin like heroin, for example, can cause prenatal damage, miscarriage, stillbirth, even premature death. Even less “hard” drugs such as like marijuana, can cause deadly consequences. And alcohol’s dangers are well documented.
Do you want to play Russian roulette with your baby?
It’s especially dangerous in the first trimester, when all of a baby’s organs are developing, Wu said. It is unclear when Love shot up while she carried Frances Bean, now 22.
It’s also unclear how much heroin Love consumed.
“The higher the concentration, the greater the chance of hurting the fetus,” said Dr. Bob Lynn, an addiction studies professor at Rutgers and the chief clinical advisor at Origins Behavioral Healthcare.
Even if the baby survives, the lingering effects are long-lasting.
One Massachusetts mother who wished to remain anonymous told The News that her two adopted tween daughters, born to a cocaine-addicted mother, struggle academically and socially. They also have theft impulses that they can’t control.
“It’s not like they even know what they’re doing,” the 45-year-old mother said. “It’s a knee-jerk reaction.”
Love is certainly not the only mom who put her baby at risk — but her dabbling with heroin may have set a trend. According to Massachusetts General Hospital, the number of women who depend on drugs like heroin or narcotic painkillers during pregnancy has more than doubled in the past decade and a half.
The good news? The number of abusers is well in the minority — just below half of one percent of all pregnancies.
Lynn thinks he knows why: “Do you want to play Russian roulette with your baby?” he asks.
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