Despite No Proven Risks, Skip the Pot This Pregnancy

Is it Safe to Use Pot During Pregnancy? Nearly half of the U.S. states have now legalized marijuana for medicinal use and it’s now legal recreationally in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

With this in mind, it stands to reason that more than a handful of pregnant women are using pot these days, and that it’s worth taking a closer look into the safety of marijuana on an unborn baby.

Is it safe to use pot during pregnancy?

Avoiding the use of marijuana is the standard recommendation given to pregnant women, but these recommendations are yet to be substantiated by legitimate research. Fear mongering is the way of the past; informed choice is the way of the future. It’s far better to put aside personal bias in order to help other women make better informed decisions regarding the health of their pregnancies.

The assumption by the medical community is that marijuana has great potential to cause harm to the unborn baby, given that the drug does cross the placenta. But the evidence is not so straightforward. In fact, a recent studies of more than 31 previously published studies has found no link between a mother’s pot use and poor birth outcomes.

For the studies that did show a possible connection with low birth weight and preterm birth, a mother’s tobacco use was not taken into account. These negative outcomes disappeared when tobacco use was considered, meaning that the low birth weight and preterm birth risks were not due to marijuana.

So, according to the evidence, pot use during pregnancy looks to be harmless. But not so fast — the recommendation remains the same: avoid marijuana while pregnant. The reason is, there are no** documented benefits of using pot while pregnant on the health of the unborn baby.

It’s kind of like caffeine — there are no documented benefits for a pregnant woman, although there are certainly some risks, and so the recommendation for pregnant women is to try to drink decaf.

So, even if you live in a state where marijuana is legal — you should probably play it safe and skip the pot.

**Editor’s note: Some women have found that medical marijuana can help with a severe and dangerous form of morning sickness called Hyperemesis Gravidarum. For more information you may want to read Medical Marijuana: A Surprising Solution to Severe Morning Sickness and Marijuana in Pregnancy.

3 thoughts on “Despite No Proven Risks, Skip the Pot This Pregnancy”

  1. First if all, this article uses fear, not facts, to make a generalized reccomendation. Second, Melanie Dreher studied the effect of marijuana use by pregnant mothers in Jamaica. She found no substatial evidence to support the theory that marijuana use causes harm to an inutero baby. How can there be conclusive evidence from American doctors and researchers when pot is classified as a schedule 1drug ( up there with heroin and cocaine??). The author of this post did zero research and that is diplorable. Third, I used marijuana during pregnancy, gave birth to an 8 pound baby on his due date. He is an exceptional student, vivacious, kind and perfectly healthy.

  2. March of Dimes funded a study that took place in Jamaica in 1994. You state in this article there are no benifits to the consumption of marijuana but the finding of their studies states otherwise.

    “Although no positive or negative neurobehavioral effects of prenatal exposure were found at 3 days of life using the Brazelton examination, there were significant differences between the exposed and nonexposed neonates at the end of the first month. Comparing the two groups, the neonates of mothers who used marijuana showed better physiological stability at 1 month and required less examiner facilitation to reach an organized state and become available for social stimulation. The results of the comparison of neonates of the heavy-marijuana-using mothers and those of the nonusing mothers were even more striking. The heavily exposed neonates were more socially responsive and were more autonomically stable at 30 days than their matched counterparts. The quality of their alertness was higher; their motor and autonomic systems were more robust; they were less irritable; they were less likely to demonstrate any imbalance of tone; they needed less examiner facilitation to become organized; they had better self-regulation; and were judged to be more rewarding for caregivers than the neonates of nonusing mothers at 1 month of age.”
    Pediatrics, February 1994, Volume 93, Number 2, pp. 254-260.
    American Academy of Pediatrics

  3. What about women who suffer from debilitating conditions that make it almost impossible to live life? What about women who aren’t able to cook or even eat food because they are unable to get up from being in extreme pain? Tylenol doesn’t work and is able to kill people with recommended doses. It is possible to die from overdosing as well, when it is impossible to overdose on Cannabis. I would say it is a benefit/risk outweigh. If you cannot provide the nutrients to the baby, a little bit may be beneficial to ensure you are able to. I believe it is worse not to feed yourself than to use some Cannabis to ease debilitating conditions.

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