Why More Moms-to-Be Are Turning to Pot During Pregnancy

Why More Moms-to-Be Are Turning to Pot During Pregnancy

Why More Moms-to-Be Are Turning to Pot During Pregnancy

The study's findings are based on medical records of 280,000 women in California who were asked about marijuana use at a prenatal appointment and then given a cannabis toxicology test during their first trimester. According to the Pew Research Center, the number of Americans who favor legalizing marijuana use has jumped to 57 percent of adults, compared to just 32 percent just a decade ago.

In October, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists updated its committee opinion that more pregnant women are using marijuana and during the time that women are breastfeeding. In California, medical marijuana was legalized in 1996, and recreational marijuana will be available in the state starting on January 1, 2018. These complications are already more prevalent among teen mothers than in slightly older women, which is worrying for medical professionals, since research showed teenagers are also more likely to smoke pot while pregnant than their older peers.

The problem? Even as public approval of pot continues to grow, we do not have enough information on the effects of marijuana on developing fetuses or young children, and what we do know is cause for concern.

In women older than 34, marijuana use increased from about 2 percent to about 3 percent.

Many women may not understand the potential risk, however. In the last decade, the number of pregnant women seeking treatment for marijuana use has increased sharply, according to a study published in the March/April, 2015 issue of the Journal of Addiction Medicine. The combination of increased risk for low gestational weight and preterm birth puts babies born to women who smoked weed during pregnancy at greater odds for NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) admittance.

"The reason that this becomes worrisome to me as an OB/GYN is that there are no studies that have ever reassured me that it would be safe to use during pregnancy", said Nancy Goler, a co-author of the new study.

Among the research included in the document is one involving pregnant laboratory animals that were exposed to the illicit drug. Instead, try eating something small - like a granola bar or a few crackers - before you get out of bed in the morning, eat more but smaller meals more frequently, stock up on ginger ale and bland foods like chicken broth, and take comfort in the fact that, at the very least, morning sickness can be a sign of a healthy pregnancy, even if it's not a particularly fun one. They reach for ginger ale, crackers and sea sickness bands to help with morning sickness. In aggregated 2002-2012 data, 14.6% of USA pregnant adolescents reported past-month use.

Related news