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smoking pot while pregnant.. is it safe?

post #1 of 292
Thread Starter 
I was reading an honest mother-to-be's post questioning the safety of occassional alcohol while pregnant and someone replied; "don't compair cannibas to alcohol, they aren't the same." So...

What do you think? Is it safe to baby to occassionally smoke pot while pregnant? I can't find any lit. on it, because no one will admit to it or test it. What about it is dangerous? Just that it's smoke? Does what does in your lungs get to the baby? Thanks for you honesty as always.
post #2 of 292
I think the links between cannabis and mental illness are strong enough that it's not safe for anyone to use. I agree it's not fair to compare it with alcohol, alcohol does seem to have quite an extreme effect on the foetus at a level that whilst not great for the mother isn't dramatic or desparately bad in the short term, but even without some kind of effect like that being known, there are still a lot of unknowns about it.
post #3 of 292
Here's an article from our very own mothering.com:

http://www.mothering.com/articles/pr...ana-side4.html
post #4 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by laurilj View Post
Here's an article from our very own mothering.com:

http://www.mothering.com/articles/pr...ana-side4.html
I was just going to post that!
post #5 of 292
And also take a look in the "MJ Mamas" tribe thread (or whatever it's called) on the first post----it has tons of good links: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=986302 (That's the Autumn thread, but the links in the current thread weren't working last time I looked, and these do).

Did you use Google to search for literature?
post #6 of 292
I don't smoke, my SIL does all day every day and her kids are crazy smart and perfectly healthy and so were her home births. Her midwife actually told her it was ok to smoke until the last month before she was due because at that point if she needed to go to the hospital she wouldn't want her to have anyway for the docs to know and then possibly CPS or whoever. With that said, my midwife will not work with you if she knows you do any illegal drugs.

I remember reading an article once that said that children who were exposed to marijuana smoke in utero had higher visual spacial awareness in preschool and lower grades elementary. It was 6 years ago, but that's all I read.

sarah
post #7 of 292
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the article links! Those are super.
I just felt like the lit. I was finding was very; 'when in doubt, just lock yourself in your bedroom until pregnancy passes'. I guess I was just looking in the wrong places.
Keep any more opinions coming!
post #8 of 292
I honestly can't believe anyone ask this. of course smoking POT while PREGNANT is NOT safe!! Why would anyone do that!?
post #9 of 292


My husband said the title of my reply should be "what are you smoking?!??!?!"

I don't believe in locking myself into a room until pregnancy passes, but seriously- as a teacher, seeing some very serious effects on students that smoke pot, seeing the side of drug abuse that is unfortunately prevalent in this area- I couldn't even come close to putting my baby in that kind of environment.

I realize that some people smoke- but to see the extreme use, I just can't imagine doing that myself. You just have to decide what risks you're willing to take, I guess. Everything has a risk, doesn't it?

I think we should be as healthy as we can- lungs, spirit, mind, body. With that said, I feel a little guilty for the cheeseburger craving I just indulged. Booooo on me. And I really, really enjoyed that cheeseburger too. (And the frosty). Yes, ladies, it does get worse. I'm a "Wendy's" junkie tonight. no pun intended- but that frosty was just fabulous.

(My apologies if I started a frosty craving with anyone- they are open until 1 or 2am.)
post #10 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by dearmama22 View Post
I honestly can't believe anyone ask this. of course smoking POT while PREGNANT is NOT safe!! Why would anyone do that!?
Did you read any of the articles?
post #11 of 292
There is some good literature out there on this topic:

Dr. Lester Grinspoon is a psychiatrist who has written several books on marijuana (Marijuana Revisited, Marijuana the Forbidden Medicine), he notes specifically that marijuana is a particularly good analgesic for childbirth (and other conditions not specifically relating to pregnancy, such as nausea, gastro-intestinal problems, menstrual cramps--Queen Victoria was prescribed cannabis for cramps, but received choloroform during her childbirths!).

Dr. Melanie Dreher has done studies regarding the use of ganja by Jamaican mothers. Her research and the politics and prejudices surrounding it are very interesting. Here is a link to an article about her research:

http://www.medicalcannabis.com/pregnancy.htm

This book "Women and Cannabis" is also a good resource:

http://books.google.com/books?id=gZJ...result#PPP1,M1

Susun Weed in her book also mentions cannabis as a labor herb, for tension and emotional stress.

I will try to think of others--there are so many issues pertaining to this topic and the medical and spiritual effects of this medicine. The Mothering article others have linked to is excellent and shows how cannabis can be very helpful to a pg woman.

ETA: It should also be noted that cannabis does not have to be smoked. A vaporiser eliminates the potential risks of reduced oxygen flow associated with smoking anything. Also, the women in Dreher's studies often take is in the form of teas.
post #12 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamatoady View Post
I remember reading an article once that said that children who were exposed to marijuana smoke in utero had higher visual spacial awareness in preschool and lower grades elementary. It was 6 years ago, but that's all I read.
One theory on why some people are visual-spatial (right-brained) learners is that it is due to a negative event/situation in which blood flow to the baby in utero is compromised, particularly in the third trimester when the left brain develops (thus the left brain is harmed and the right brain compensates). For example, in my kids' case, I have clotting issues, etc. (as an aside, it is common for even very bright VSLs to have lower grades in school because of the very auditory-sequential, or left-brained, approach of traditional teaching.) It would certainly not surprise me at all if smoking marajuana affected placental blood flow issues - isn't cigarette smoking known to increase clotting risks?
post #13 of 292
I don't have any expert knowledge or good articles to link to, but just wanted to pop in and say that I'm also a member of an HG (form of severe n/v during pregnancy) forum, and a few of the ladies in the time I've been there have had their OBs prescribe it for them.

Before I'd been through the hell that even mild/moderate HG can be, I'd have been aphalled to hear of this happening...but now that I know, I'd be totally open to the idea of trying it (in a vaporizer, if possible) during any future HG pregnancies!
post #14 of 292
All of the research I've done, says it's safe, I know many mamas who have done it and think it's safe, and I personally think it's totally safe.
post #15 of 292
I don't smoke it myself, but have several friends who used it to survive hypermesis through their pregnancies. For my one friend, who is almost sickly thin to begin with, found it was the only thing that would allow her to eat. After she had lost 10 lbs (she didn't have to lose in the first place... she had gotten so thin I could see her rib bones through the back of her shirt) in her first trimester she was desperate.

I think its a very personal decision though... one that is strongly influenced by a person's culturally influenced perception of pot (as represented by the variation of comments above). I don't smoke it personally because it's just not my thing, but I certainly wouldn't condemn someone else for it, especially if it was for a specific reason (like extreme nausea) rather than just to get a high.

Sadie
post #16 of 292
I wouldn't do it but I also wouldn't drink any alcohol. I'm not sure if it a RCT study but just today the newspaper quoted a study on the higher incidence of aggressive prostate cancer among frequent smokers (and young men, that is). even if the study was crap, it might be a way more harmful substance than we think. Also, I think it affects your brain. what harms you will probably affect the baby, too. I can't quote any research on that though. just my feeling.
post #17 of 292
i honestly don't know the evidence based research on health risks for mom or baby. i know you were looking for literature but all i have is an opinion. lol

i don't know how it could be safe? if it alters one's mind, wouldn't it alter a growing mind? if it can make one addicted to a hallucinogen, would not a baby get addicted? if it can decrease oxygen and blood flow, wouldnt it do the same for the baby? if it causes side effects for mom, wouldnt it for baby? (imagine the baby getting the munchies inutero ) how does one know it is really really safe...safe level of THC, how does one know where it really came from, and what it if is laced with something else?? it just doesn't seem healthy or safe to me, even if it is organic . i'm always open to reading more about it and learning otherwise. the sources so far aren't evidence based enough for me yet.

beyond that, i don't think it is safe for any pregnant mom to do anything illegal. (im in the south US on the border of mexico, so not going to find it legal here). it's not safe for her to do a "drug deal". it's not safe for her mind to be altered. it's not safe for her to get arrested. it's not safe for her go to a filthy jail for "possession". it's not safe for her to have to pay fines, get a record, and risk her "fit mother" status. it's not safe for her baby to be taken away from her when her bloodwork comes up positive for illegal drugs. (of course if you get it prescribed it would be another story, but where i live, that wouldn't happen). Also it is not safe to smoke pot while breastfeeding-so you put baby at risk there....

Even if it is considered "safe" during pregnancy, because of lack of studies, it is known to not be safe while breastfeeding. THC is transferred into breastmilk- levels can be up to 8 times higher than in the mom's bloodstream. I learned as an IBCLC that exposure to marijuana through breastmilk can delay infant development. The American Academy of Pediatrics considers it as a contraindication for breastfeeding and we are advised to say that moms should abstain from all use of THC while breastfeeding.
i think if a mom wants to smoke a joint with her kid, say when he is 18, then i say go ahead. they can make their own choices at that age. they can weigh the risks and benefits. but until then i wouldnt risk this important part of development for what we dont know.

and on another note. if you live on the border of mexico you may see what i see and hear the stories i hear about drug smuggling. if not, then read up on what is going on and see what marijuana is doing to our families here and abroad. men women and children are all dying to get Americans their pot (among other drugs). as long as there is a demand, they will keep dying. lately women have been kidnapped, decapitated, have had their breast branded by the drug lords . im not saying thats where i think all US pot comes from, of course not, but if its not prescribed/not grown in the US, then please have a second thought.

like i said, just my opinion
post #18 of 292
I just do not understand this is even an issue. We stop smoking cigarettes when pregnant, we question if we can eat cheese, sushi - what do I know. We use cloth diapers cause there may be a risk of horrible chemicals in sposies, we eat organic, cause its healthier for mom and baby, we dont use cosmetics cause it can cause allergies, we dont vax, we think its horrible to recieve any kinds of drugs while birthing cause it can affect the baby, some wont even consider ultrasounds because there may be a risk etc.

But pot should be OK? WTF! Goodness. I consider myself a hippie - but heavens! So cause it grows in nature and is a cool drug that has a "back-to-nature" kind of image its ok to take? Im shocked!
post #19 of 292
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seie View Post
We stop smoking cigarettes when pregnant, we question if we can eat cheese, sushi - what do I know. We use cloth diapers cause there may be a risk of horrible chemicals in sposies, we eat organic, cause its healthier for mom and baby, we dont use cosmetics cause it can cause allergies, we dont vax, we think its horrible to recieve any kinds of drugs while birthing cause it can affect the baby, some wont even consider ultrasounds because there may be a risk etc. !
i was thinking the same thing!
post #20 of 292

Lots to reply to here.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by annekh23 View Post
I think the links between cannabis and mental illness are strong enough that it's not safe for anyone to use. I agree it's not fair to compare it with alcohol, alcohol does seem to have quite an extreme effect on the foetus at a level that whilst not great for the mother isn't dramatic or desparately bad in the short term, but even without some kind of effect like that being known, there are still a lot of unknowns about it.

It is a well known myth that marijuana is linked with mental illness. It actually can HELP some with mental illness so they don't need to take pharmacutecals. There are lots of studies right now about schizophrenia and nicotine, as well as with marijuana. And its the opposite type of link you are implying. Instead of Pot causes.... Pot helps.....


Quote:
Originally Posted by dearmama22 View Post
I honestly can't believe anyone ask this. of course smoking POT while PREGNANT is NOT safe!! Why would anyone do that!?
Where do you get your opinion? The anti pot comercials on tv aimed at 7 yr olds? Please do some research. Hearing this on MDC is like hearing that NOT circing is NOT SAFE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sadie Lake View Post
I don't smoke it myself, but have several friends who used it to survive hypermesis through their pregnancies. For my one friend, who is almost sickly thin to begin with, found it was the only thing that would allow her to eat. After she had lost 10 lbs (she didn't have to lose in the first place... she had gotten so thin I could see her rib bones through the back of her shirt) in her first trimester she was desperate.

I think its a very personal decision though... one that is strongly influenced by a person's culturally influenced perception of pot (as represented by the variation of comments above). I don't smoke it personally because it's just not my thing, but I certainly wouldn't condemn someone else for it, especially if it was for a specific reason (like extreme nausea) rather than just to get a high.

Sadie
Good point, thanks for bringing this up.
When marijuana is used for medicinal use, rather than recreational use, one finds the "high" minimal to none. You're not partaking in enough to get stoned. Think having a glass of wine for the health benefits with dinner. What if when you told someone about it they thought you must be crazy and getting DRUNK off a bottle of wine every night at dinner. There is such a stigma attached to marijuana. It drives me nuts!


Quote:
Originally Posted by oceane View Post
I wouldn't do it but I also wouldn't drink any alcohol. I'm not sure if it a RCT study but just today the newspaper quoted a study on the higher incidence of aggressive prostate cancer among frequent smokers (and young men, that is). even if the study was crap, it might be a way more harmful substance than we think. Also, I think it affects your brain. what harms you will probably affect the baby, too. I can't quote any research on that though. just my feeling.
I cant find the study you're mentioning, I would love to sift through it though, decipher if it was really a controlled experiment, and who sponsored/funded it. There ARE carcinogens in pot smoke(just like there are in EVERYTHING nowadays) however, there are also other radicals that PROTECT against those carcinogens from actually developing and causing cancer. See link...."We hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use," he said. "What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect."

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrightBabies View Post
i honestly don't know the evidence based research on health risks for mom or baby. i know you were looking for literature but all i have is an opinion. lol

i don't know how it could be safe? if it alters one's mind, wouldn't it alter a growing mind? There is a big difference in recreational use than medicinal use. if it can make one addicted to a hallucinogen, would not a baby get addicted? Marijuana is not addicting. Another big marijuana myth. if it can decrease oxygen and blood flow, wouldnt it do the same for the baby? if it causes side effects for mom, wouldnt it for baby? In large doses mj can decrease blood pressure. not by drastic amounts, but decreased none the less. Having a good cup of tea and relaxing with your midwife at a prenatal often decreases blood pressure.... This is why the most mw's will take your bp at the end of the visit...... (imagine the baby getting the munchies inutero ) how does one know it is really really safe...safe level of THC, how does one know where it really came from, and what it if is laced with something else?? Know your grower it just doesn't seem healthy or safe to me, even if it is organic . i'm always open to reading more about it and learning otherwise. the sources so far aren't evidence based enough for me yet. really? what are you reading?

beyond that, i don't think it is safe for any pregnant mom to do anything illegal. (im in the south US on the border of mexico, so not going to find it legal here). it's not safe for her to do a "drug deal". it's not safe for her mind to be altered. it's not safe for her to get arrested. it's not safe for her go to a filthy jail for "possession". it's not safe for her to have to pay fines, get a record, and risk her "fit mother" status. it's not safe for her baby to be taken away from her when her bloodwork comes up positive for illegal drugs. (of course if you get it prescribed it would be another story, but where i live, that wouldn't happen). Also it is not safe to smoke pot while breastfeeding-so you put baby at risk there....As far as legalities go, speeding is illegal, so is stopping for less than 3 seconds at a stop sign, There are tons of crazy laws that still exist today, and everyday every american decides which ones to follow. You take your own risks and the more risks you take the higher your chance of being in trouble. Blow a stopsign in front of a cop? or when you can see that there is nobody around, you dont have the kids in the car, and you go thru it at 5 mph? which carries a lesser risk? Same basic risks go for obtaining marijuana.

Even if it is considered "safe" during pregnancy, because of lack of studies, it is known to not be safe while breastfeeding. THC is transferred into breastmilk- levels can be up to 8 times higher than in the mom's bloodstream. I learned as an IBCLC that exposure to marijuana through breastmilk can delay infant development. The American Academy of Pediatrics considers it as a contraindication for breastfeeding and we are advised to say that moms should abstain from all use of THC while breastfeeding. another myth/scare tactic from the AAP. The ONLY effect known is SOME mothers experience a decrease in milk supply. That snippet comes from medications and mothers milk. There are NO other conclusive studies regarding marijuana and mothers milk. Inconclusive usually means by the way...."our conclusion was different than our hypothesis and we only have funding to prove our hypothesis." I'd love to see the "studies" that your training refrenced.

i think if a mom wants to smoke a joint with her kid, say when he is 18, then i say go ahead. they can make their own choices at that age. they can weigh the risks and benefits. but until then i wouldnt risk this important part of development for what we dont know.

and on another note. if you live on the border of mexico you may see what i see and hear the stories i hear about drug smuggling. if not, then read up on what is going on and see what marijuana is doing to our families here and abroad. men women and children are all dying to get Americans their pot (among other drugs). as long as there is a demand, they will keep dying. lately women have been kidnapped, decapitated, have had their breast branded by the drug lords . im not saying thats where i think all US pot comes from, of course not, but if its not prescribed/not grown in the US, then please have a second thought.

Most people know their growers. Marijuana from mexico is typically miracle grow schwag and nobody, pregnant or not wants to partake in that. In my experience, miracle grow schwag is in highschools more than anywhere else.

like i said, just my opinion
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seie View Post
I just do not understand this is even an issue. We stop smoking cigarettes when pregnant, we question if we can eat cheese, sushi - what do I know. We use cloth diapers cause there may be a risk of horrible chemicals in sposies, we eat organic, cause its healthier for mom and baby, we dont use cosmetics cause it can cause allergies, we dont vax, we think its horrible to recieve any kinds of drugs while birthing cause it can affect the baby, some wont even consider ultrasounds because there may be a risk etc.

But pot should be OK? WTF! Goodness. I consider myself a hippie - but heavens! So cause it grows in nature and is a cool drug that has a "back-to-nature" kind of image its ok to take? Im shocked!
THIS is what I dont understand.....you do the RESEARCH to decide if vax is safe, if sposies are safe, if hospital birth is safe, etc etc etc. you then make your informed decision based on the info you have learned and what you think is best for YOU.
Why shouldnt the same standard apply to pot? You bet your bottom Ive researched the ins and outs and THEN decided that my reasons for partaking in mj along with the amount and type of mj i get is much safer than the perscription DRUGS that would otherwise have to be taken to get the same outcomes, not to mention all the other drugs that id have to take to combat the sideeffects of the initial drugs. Please, Please, you owe it toyourself to do some research to know the facts, not just the anti pot propaganda the govenrment preaches. My mind doesnt come with an automatic bibligoraphy, but theres a LOT you can find just by googling.
Especially because, this is after all, MDC and "Our discussions on the boards are about the real world of mothering and are first and foremost, for support and information. "
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