Pregnancy and Marijuana Use.
History was made in the last USA election – I’m talking about Colorado and Washington legalizing the sale and possession of cannabis (aka: marijuana) for both medical and non-medical use. The results of the votes have certainly been a big topic of conversation!
Whether you are for or against legalization of marijuana, there may be significant health concerns for mothers-to-be and their babies that need to be brought forward.
Is it Safe to Smoke Marijuana During Pregnancy?
For centuries, marijuana has been used for recreational, medical, and spiritual purposes. Some claim that it is beneficial; others claim that it is a big health hazard.
Marijuana is the most widely used illicit drug used by pregnant women, but there are actually very few studies on how it may affect a fetus. While it is well documented that smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol can cause a vast number of problems for a developing baby, many with lifelong effects, there isn’t as much known about the effects of marijuana exposure. Some claim it is relatively harmless to a fetus; others claim it is extremely harmful.
What do the Studies Say about Smoking "Weed" During Pregnancy?
Any consequences of prenatal marijuana seem to be on the behavioral, neurological, or cognitive development of the children. Observations included increased tremors in newborns, decreased mental scores in infants, and lower intelligence at age 6. Also, during the preschool years, there is a poorer performance on tasks involving sustained attention and memory. In the school years, these children are more likely to exhibit deficits in problem-solving skills, memory, and the ability to remain attentive when compared to children with no prenatal marijuana exposure. Some studies showed a relationship between marijuana use during pregnancy and lower birth weights. Others claim that the results are not consistent and inconclusive.
What to do?
Since so little is really known about any short or long term effects of marijuana smoking during pregnancy, and the findings of studies are in dispute, I would say you should not smoke it while you are pregnant. Your baby’s well-being and future may depend on how you care for yourself during pregnancy; it’s better to be safe than sorry.
For more on health and pregnancy, please visit Maternity Corner.