Pot during pregnancy?
I didn't drink wine or smoke cigarettes or eat unpasteurized cheese during pregnancy- so why would I take a chance on marijuana? One piece of brie, a few cigarettes, a glass of wine every day, and a marijauna brownie are not going to kill your baby. They probably won't even harm it. But why take a chance?
Just because marijuana is a herb doesn't mean it's not also a drug. Digitalis, for example, is both a lovely garden herb (foxglove) and a drug that can kill you if you take too much.
Laying aside the ethical considerations of purchasing a drug and supporting all the unsavory activities that go along with the supply chain, there's no knowing how potent the pot you smoke or infuse or eat really is. Unlike (say) Tylenol, which has a known quantity of active substance in each pill, marijuana can have a little THC in it, or a lot. And, unless you grew it yourself, you don't know what it's mixed with. Just ask my friend who got some laced with LSD by accident.
Here are a few abstracts of scientific papers on marijuana during pregnancy:
- EFFECT OF MARIJUANA USE IN PREGNANCY ON FETAL GROWTH. Hatch, E.E. and Bracken, M.B. American Journal of Epidemiology Vol. 124, No. 6: 986-993.
In a prospective study of 3,857 pregnancies ending in singleton live births at Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Connecticut, in 1980–1982,9.5% of mothers reported using marijuana (4.1% occasionally and 5.4% at least 2–3 times monthly). Among whtte women, regular use was associated with an increased risk of delivering a low birth weight (<2,500 gm) infant (odds ratio (OR) = 2.6, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.1–6.2) and small for gestational age infant (OR = 2.3, 95% CI = 1.3–4.1) after adjustment for other risk factors. Nonwhite marijuana users were not at further increased risk for delivering a low birth weight or small for gestational age infant beyond the elevated rates of these conditions already experienced by nonwhites in general. Marijuana use was also related to preterm delivery (gestational age <37 weeks from last menstrual period) in white women (OR = 1.9, 95% CI = 1.0–3.9) but not nonwhtte women. Occasional use was unrelated to the risk of low birth weight, small for gestational age, or preterm delivery.
- Marijuana use during pregnancy and decreased length of gestation.
Fried, PA, Watkinson, B, Willan, A. AM. J. OBSTET. GYNECOL. Vol. 150, no. 1, pp. 23-26. 1984.
In a prospective study the relationship of marijuana use during pregnancy to infant birth weight and length of gestation was examined in 583 women who delivered single live infants. Eighty-four women used marijuana to varying degrees during pregnancy. Marijuana, alcohol, smoking, and nutritional habits were estimated by repeated interviews. Compared to nonuse, an average use of marijuana six or more times per week during pregnancy was associated with a statistically significant reduction of 0.8 weeks in the length of gestation after consideration of the effects of nicotine, alcohol, parity, mother's prepregnancy weight, and the sex of the infant. With similar adjustments no reduction in birth weight was noted. Among the heavy marijuana users the effect on gestation length was dose dependent.
-The association of marijuana use with outcome of pregnancy. S Linn et. al. American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 73, Issue 10 1161-1164.
We analyzed interview and medical record data of 12,424 women to evaluate the relationship between marijuana usage and adverse outcomes of pregnancy. Low birthweight, short gestation, and major malformations occurred more often among offspring of marijuana users. When we used logistic regression to control for demographic characteristics, habits, and medical history data, these relationships were not statistically significant. The odds ratio for the occurrence of major malformations among marijuana users was 1.36, higher than odds ratios for other exogenous variables, and the 95 per cent confidence interval was 0.97-1.91. More data are needed to establish firmly or rule out an association between marijuana usage and major malformations. Until more information is available, women should be advised not to use marijuana during pregnancy.
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