Marijuana use during pregnancy associated with many risks, studies reveal
SPOKANE, Wash. – The release of more data on the effects of marijuana on a baby has led researchers to the conclusion that moms should think twice before using pot during and after pregnancy.
Many moms turn to marijuana for relief of symptoms such as nausea and anxiety, yet scientific research is emerging that identifies associated risks.
Confusion over the safety of these products prompted multiple agencies, including the Spokane Regional Health District, to launch a new component to its Weed to Know campaign: Weed to Know for Baby and You.
The campaign educates families and caregivers about harms associated with marijuana use while pregnant, breastfeeding, or caring for children. The campaign stresses the results of several peer-reviewed studies, which revealed:
Marijuana use before pregnancy could:
– Cause a baby to be born before his or her body and brain are ready. This could mean serious health problems at birth and throughout life.
– Change how a baby’s brain develops. These changes may cause life-long behavior problems like trouble paying attention or following rules.
for them to do well in school.
Marijuana use during breastfeeding is associated with these risks:
– Feeding problems, as THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, can lower milk supply.
– Increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome
Using marijuana can affect a person’s ability to safely care for a baby or other children. Marijuana use decreases a person’s ability to concentrate, impairs judgment, and slows response time.
“We hear all the time from mothers who feel they used marijuana ‘successfully’ in previous pregnancies, or know someone who did, but it is also likely the child is not old enough yet to exhibit the long-term health consequences,” said Melissa Charbonneau, a public health nurse in the health district’s Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs program. “To be on the safe side, your best bet is to avoid marijuana altogether while you’re expecting.”