Is cannabis safe during pregnancy??? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 113 Old 11-14-2005, 12:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#2 of 113 Old 11-14-2005, 01:21 AM
 
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I have read on another forum where some women were okay with using it during labor. I'm not sure how you'd go about finding a midwife who's okay with this...I would be afraid to ask, personally. I do know that the first trimester is when you would especially want to avoid anything potentially toxic because that's when all the important parts of the baby are forming, so I'm not sure how safe it is to use then. I've done some reading on the topic and apparently there are studies showing women in Jamaica smoking through their pregnancies with no problems, but I personally wouldn't take that risk. I do recall reading posts on another forum from a woman who used tiny amounts (like 1-2 hits) to help her appetite when she was dealing with extremely severe morning sickness, and didn't want to take medication for it, for fear of the effects of the meds on her baby.

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#3 of 113 Old 11-14-2005, 01:33 AM
 
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I don't smoke it, but I have read a few studies that concluded that it could cause mental retardation, developmental delays, and facial cranial problems. It was several years ago that I read this but I am sure that is what it said. I am sorry that you are dealing with bipolar disorder and I hope that you can find some relief during your pregnancy.

Babydoll

I just did a quick google search. It is also thought to cause ADHD, attention problems, memory problems, and may be linked to early miscarriage and low birth weight babies.
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#4 of 113 Old 11-14-2005, 01:47 AM
 
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There was an article in Mothering about using marijuana for morning sickness.
http://www.mothering.com/articles/pr...marijuana.html
http://www.mothering.com/articles/pr...ana-side4.html

I used it during my pregnancy.

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#5 of 113 Old 11-14-2005, 01:49 AM
 
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I definitely would not use it during pregnancy, but I might consider it during labor if I were doing unassissted childbirth. If you can find a midwife you really trust I would tell her the situation and see what she suggests to help you with the bipolar during pregnancy that won't harm your baby.
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#6 of 113 Old 11-14-2005, 02:08 AM
 
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There is a very long thread here about this topic. It tends to get heated. I want to remind everyone to keep thier head about them. If you can do a search here and read the wealth of information about this, it would be very helpful to you.
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#7 of 113 Old 11-14-2005, 02:11 AM
 
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Babydoll,

I would love to see this research you are quoting because I cannot for the life of me find any unbiased research on this topic. All I have found in the anti- group is stuff spouted by the same folks funding the War on Drugs. Needless to say, there is so much misinformation about this it makes my head spin.

I have always said, marijuana is very powerful plant medicine. Smoking is NEVER a good idea during pregnancy (or ever in my opinion). If you need to self medicate with marijuana, you may want to look into cooking with it or a vaporizor. Smoking it is just pouring nasty chemicals into your bloodstream from the actual smoke (and the butane if you are using a lighter).
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#8 of 113 Old 11-14-2005, 02:16 AM
 
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#9 of 113 Old 11-14-2005, 02:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#10 of 113 Old 11-14-2005, 02:32 AM
 
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When talking about medication during pregnancy and nursing, you need to weigh ALL the options- including the dangers of not treating your condition at all. In many cases, the potential side effects of the drug are safer than the risks to the baby if Mom's condition goes untreated. For example, when I'm depressed I often "forget" to eat- this lack of nutrition can be far more harmful than medication.

IMO, cannabis is probably a lot safer than many of the pharmaceutical drugs that are used to treat Bipolar Disorder. However, there are certain "legal risks" of using cannnabis, and you're more vulnerable to the law once you have kids. There IS a risk of being arrested and separated from the baby, and also a risk of children being taken into foster care simply because of parents' drug use. I'm not sure how likely that is to happen, but it IS a risk.

In the "Finding your Tribe" area, there is a tribe of MJ using Mamas and Papas. You could probably get a lot of info and support over there.

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#11 of 113 Old 11-14-2005, 02:58 AM
 
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Ok thanks for a google search.

Like I said, I have yet to find any unbiased information or research on this topic.
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#12 of 113 Old 11-14-2005, 03:41 AM
 
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I think it's safe, personally. The Jamaican study is pretty compelling, since it was much better controlled than similar research that's been done in the US. It's also worth noting that cannabis is extremely non-toxic in general.

These threads do tend to turn ugly, unfortunately :
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#13 of 113 Old 11-14-2005, 04:07 AM
 
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I also believe it's safe and used it during my pregnancy, and also while nursing. I spoke to my midwife about it and she said the main concern during pregnancy was inhalation of smoke. This possibility was not a major concern to me because I don't smoke marijuana like one would cigarettes.

After my daughter was born I called Motherrisk and they spoke about risks regarding delayed development, loss of appetite, and general lethargy. My daughter has been an early developer in every area, eats/ate heartily, and I wish for more lethargy! So no worries here.
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#14 of 113 Old 11-14-2005, 05:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#15 of 113 Old 11-14-2005, 01:46 PM
 
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If you talk your midwife about using it during labor, keep in mind that they have certain legal liabilities. Depending on what state you are in midwiery may be more of less embattled and the midwife could rightly be worried about randowm prosecutors jumping in and investigating in all kinds of circumstances. I'm all for cannabis use, within prudent limits, but in my state, in the current legal environment, I wouldn't ask my midwife to expose herself to that kind of liability.
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#16 of 113 Old 11-14-2005, 02:15 PM
 
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Don't think I would have survived a couple of my pregnancies without it. My third child landed me in the hospital. After five days I checked myself out, bought a bag and finished the pg without getting sick. I see nothing wrong wiht the children I birthed having smoked during pg. So, my vote is it doesn't cause any problems and my midwife doesn't have a problem with it. If I had it prescribed I'd be smoking right now...... This is JMO and I stick to it.

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#17 of 113 Old 11-14-2005, 04:12 PM
 
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Shishkeberry - any effects on the baby? anything else I need to know???
Not that I know of. He's a healthy 15 month old now, if a little on the small side. But that could have been caused by my pre-eclampsia and low milk supply. He was induced at 37 weeks because of the pre-e and we had so many problems with nursing in the beginning coupled with unhelpful LC's and the inability to pump that I wasn't able to make enough milk for him after 4 months or so. But he's catching up now and he's the smartest baby you've ever seen Ok, maybe I'm a little biased

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#18 of 113 Old 11-17-2005, 07:43 PM
 
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I was a heavy pot-smoker before I got pregnant with my now 4 yr old daughter. When I found out I was pregnant, at 5 weeks, I stopped. I couldn't handle the m/s, but in retrospect I realise that I was also "withdrawing" from the pot I'd smoked every day for the past 4 years. So the nausea seemed 10 times as bad. So when I was 9 weeks pregnant, I started smoking again.

Long story short, my daughter was born with a bilateril cleft lip.

No matter what my drug counsellor says, no matter what my husband says, no matter what anybody says, I blame myself. I will blame myself forever.
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#19 of 113 Old 11-17-2005, 09:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by the_queen
No matter what my drug counsellor says, no matter what my husband says, no matter what anybody says, I blame myself. I will blame myself forever.
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#20 of 113 Old 11-18-2005, 01:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by babydoll
cause mental retardation, developmental delays, and facial cranial problems.
It is also thought to cause ADHD, attention problems, memory problems, and may be linked to early miscarriage and low birth weight babies.

I work with the long term effect of cannabis use on children.
I totally agree with the above poster...

Moms that have or do smoke cannabis through their prenancies will without a doubt endure one or many of the above issues. I see it everyday.

Again....this is my experience. I am not judging. I am not pointing figures. This is what I have learned and observed through 12 years of working with drug effected children.
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#21 of 113 Old 11-18-2005, 02:40 AM
 
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One hurdle is that many people smoke it during pregnancy and their children (seemingly) have no problems. So they are the ones who "shout it from the rooftops" that it's ok to smoke pot during pregnancy. People like me are ashamed and embarrassed and disgusted with themselves, so we generally don't tell our story. I still worry that Child Welfare will take her away from me because of it. Even though that's kinda irrational.


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#22 of 113 Old 11-18-2005, 04:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by austinmandi
This is my first post so I hope this is not a controversial topic, but I was wondering what your thoughts were on the subject. I have used medical cannabis for bipolar disorder 3 years now and I am scared to go without it but even more scared to harm the baby. I'm only 8 wks pg so I don't think my usage so far would harm the fetus but I could really use some feedback as to what everyone else knows/thinks about it. Thanks in advance!


P.S. I would also like to use it during my hb as pain management but I don't know what mw feel about this issue either.
I didn't want to say anything, so as to not get embroiled in another controversy and have this helpful part of the forum turn ugly, but this thread seems to be pretty calm. So, no, pot is not safe during pregnancy, and *especially* not during the early part. If you're still taking it, you should stop. There are other treatments for bipolar disorder, and I really encourage you to find a supportive psych/therapist that has experience with pregnancy issues.

It drives me very bonkers that people decide it's "natural" and therefore okay. There are SO many things that are natural that are very blatantly dangerous and terrible for pregnancy. Pot, especially if smoked, has a very large number of known carcinogens (and unknown chemicals as well), etc. It's rediculous to even consider it- I'm sorry. Those mothering articles cemented my distain for any research in that magazine. What garbage.

Now, saying all that, for severe morning sickness, there may be a role for the active component in pot- THC. The thing is, you CAN get that by perscription! It's called marinol, and it's used with cancer patients and AIDS patients, etc. That way, you know what you are getting exactly, you know the dose, and you can control it. You aren't getting all the other chemicals that are in whatever Mystery Pot you might be able to procure. I would like to see trials for women with severe hyperemesis (the life threatening kind) to try marinol, and I think it may help a lot. That way, also, if there are birth defects related to THC, the will find this out. It is pregnancy catagory C with respect to animal studies, which have not shown terrible results but some concerns.

I doubt that you will be able to get marinol (which is very heavily regulated) when there may be safer medications available to use for bipolar disorder during pregnancy. I urge you to look into this, there may be help out there you haven't been made aware of yet, and there is evidence that pot makes bipolar disorder *worse*. Perhaps something that worked in the short term is not doing you any favors in the long term! Good luck!
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#23 of 113 Old 11-18-2005, 04:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by HaveWool~Will Felt
I work with the long term effect of cannabis use on children.
I totally agree with the above poster...

Moms that have or do smoke cannabis through their prenancies will without a doubt endure one or many of the above issues. I see it everyday.

Again....this is my experience. I am not judging. I am not pointing figures. This is what I have learned and observed through 12 years of working with drug effected children.
I am curious if you work with drug effected children that have been exposed to ONLY cannibis and not any other drugs. I don't know exactly what you do but its my unscientific opinion that often drug effected children that are in need of some kind of medical treatment were probably exposed to many drugs, including alcohol, and not just marijuana. Do you think that might be a majority of your cases? Or do you see many cases of children with issues that were only exposed to marijuana (while it might be hard to know since your taking a mother's word for it).

Quote:
Moms that have or do smoke cannabis through their prenancies will without a doubt endure one or many of the above issues.
I don't see how you can say this "without a doubt". That might be the case in the children you have worked with but there is no scientific evidence that says a woman using cannibis will "without a doubt" have a baby that is negatively effected. I have a completely different experience with this. I have never seen any ADHD, facial abnormalities, etc etc in babies that I know were exposed to only reasonable amounts of cannibis and absolutely no other drugs during pregnancy. And I know quite a few.

How do we know that some medical problems might not have happened anyway? There is little unbiased evidence that ties the problems mentioned directly to marijuana use.
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#24 of 113 Old 11-18-2005, 04:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by HaveWool~Will Felt

Moms that have or do smoke cannabis through their prenancies will without a doubt endure one or many of the above issues. I see it everyday.
Your conclusion based on your experience is a false one. Even *if* you can know for sure that the children you work with were *all* exposed *only* to cannabis, that doesn't prove a causal link. And you don't see the many children whose mamas smoked mj during pregnancy and have no lasting effects.

If you met my daughter and I, you would not know I smoked during pregnancy. And because of the hysteria surrounding MJ in your country, and in mine to a lesser extent, I would not tell you.
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#25 of 113 Old 11-18-2005, 05:00 PM
 
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Although this is jmo & not even slightly scientific I would suggest that you look at it in the same way you would consider taking any pharmaceutical drug during pregnancy...

1. Does the benefit to the mother's health outweight the potential risks?
2. Is there a less riskly product/treatment (or a product or treatment with less UNKNOWNS) available?

Personally, I would not risk it - but then I probably wouldn't risk a pharmaceutical unless I felt my health (mental or physical) was at a serious risk with out it. My ob had to bully me into taking an otc (unisom) to deal w my m/s - but I am glad I finally agreed...I've stoped losing weight & can function. I felt like in that situation, the small risk of an otc medication out weighed the damage the m/s was doing. So...I would say get as much info as you can - but then it's up to you to decide if the risks are worth it.
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#26 of 113 Old 11-18-2005, 06:20 PM
 
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i didn't read the other posts, but wanted to add this. my midwife makes you sign an agreement about taking care of yourself and what your responsibilities are while under her care, one of which is refraining from any non-perscribed drugs....i guess if cannabis is perscribed, maybe that could still be taken.

however, i live in michigan. my brother's family has had 3 homebirths in oregon and their midwife said it was completely fine and there would be no ill-effects on the baby. she did however, caution against using within a month of giving birth in case they ended up in the hospital, and they found out, they might try to take the children.

IMO, if you're helping your bipolar (which i have struggled with), I say go ahead, i wouldn't necessarily bring it up with your doctor if your not sure they will approve. a midwife would probably just ask you not to if she wasn't ok with it, but wouldn't cancel you as a patient or anything. cannabis is A LOT milder and a lot less dangerous than some of the drugs they put us on to treat depression and such. when i was pregnant with my dd, the doc wanted to put me on paxil, that was three years ago and now they're showing paxil relates to birth defects and withdrawl symptoms. somewhere, fyi i saw a study that showed children of mothers who smoked moderately during their pregnancy showed equal if not superior skills in some academic departments (a long time ago, wish i could remember what) i think visual-spacial awareness may have been one.

-------------------------------------
cause mental retardation, developmental delays, and facial cranial problems.
It is also thought to cause ADHD, attention problems, memory problems, and may be linked to early miscarriage and low birth weight babies.

I work with the long term effect of cannabis use on children.
I totally agree with the above poster...

Moms that have or do smoke cannabis through their prenancies will without a doubt endure one or many of the above issues. I see it everyday.

-------------------------------------------
this almost makes me laugh (i know that's rude, but i'm not trying to be) if you've ever been to any largely "hippy populated" communities, especially out west, a large number of moms are smoking pretty much all day and their children do not show ANY of these symptoms, and in fact,many have extremely high IQ's. I look at my brother's kids and they are all way above average in intelligence, clearly have no attention or memory problems and each weighed over 8 pounds when born. i know for a fact that my SIL
smoked pretty much all day every day. Now, if you look at someone who smokes crack or drinks alcohol, or even takes pharmaceudical drugs, there can be immediate obvious correlations to what was taken during pregnancy. I wouldn't doubt that these mothers who showed the above problems in their children, showed it out of coincidence OR they were taking/doing a lot of something else.

imo---ya'll can trash me if you want!

good luck, to original poster.
fyi, i did not smoke while pg with dd and do not smoke now
sarah

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#27 of 113 Old 11-19-2005, 01:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by the_queen
I was a heavy pot-smoker before I got pregnant with my now 4 yr old daughter. When I found out I was pregnant, at 5 weeks, I stopped. I couldn't handle the m/s, but in retrospect I realise that I was also "withdrawing" from the pot I'd smoked every day for the past 4 years. So the nausea seemed 10 times as bad. So when I was 9 weeks pregnant, I started smoking again.

Long story short, my daughter was born with a bilateril cleft lip.

No matter what my drug counsellor says, no matter what my husband says, no matter what anybody says, I blame myself. I will blame myself forever.

I have a friend who is a homeopathic person. I don't know her actual title as she is not a doctor. Anyway, her grandson was born with a horrible cleft palate. He is 6yo now and has had several surgeries and will require more as he ages. So one day we were talking about this an I asked her what cause cleft palates and cleft lips. She explained that its really one of three thing A. a vitiamin B defiecency in the mother B. hereditary C. the baby keeping its hands at its face while in the womb and it interferes with the growth of the lip.

Now I am not a doctor but I think it is safe to say you can stop blaming yourself for your childs cleft lip. In her daughters case it was a combo it ran on the fathers side of the family and her daughter refused to take extra vitamins other than her prenatals while pregnant even though she pleaded with her to do so. Hope this info helps you. I have only read this thread to your post maybe someone else already shared this with you. Tina~
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#28 of 113 Old 11-19-2005, 01:29 AM
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Originally Posted by jenny-g
I There are other treatments for bipolar disorder,

But lithium, the main drug used to treat bi-polar disorder, is very dangerous during pregnancy.



And a cleft palate is caused by not enough folic acid (a B vitamin)


Mama, perhaps this is a stupid question...but are you sure you have bi-polar disorder? Have you had your thyroid levels checked? Sometimes that mimics bi-polar disorder.

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#29 of 113 Old 11-19-2005, 01:35 PM
 
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There is no way to determine exactly what all these children have been exposed to. I apologize for not making that very clear when I posted earlier. When we have recieved a maternal history of the child...there is no way to know if it is the "truth" of not....

So, again....I am going off what we have on paper....my fault...should have been much more clear about this....

Thanks for stearing me in the right direction..

One other thing....In the state where I live, I am almost sure that mother and child are tested at birth (in hospitals). If the test comes back positive for any kind of drug...the child in put into protective custody immediatly.
The risk of this happening would scare me enough to not smoke or use...But than again...I haven't ever planned on having my babes in a hospital....make sense???

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#30 of 113 Old 11-19-2005, 06:01 PM
 
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Pot is no different than "pharmaceutical" drugs, or ANY OTHER drugs. It's just not tested as well as some of them are, and you never know exactly what you're getting. There is nothing "special" about pot because it's hippy/crunchy/whatever- it's a dangerous drug and should not be taken during pregnancy, no matter what sort of ancedotal evidence people like to whip out about a certain kid being fine.

Why take the risk? If someone can't stop smoking in preparation for, and during, a pregnancy, they have a serious problem and need treatment. Pot is NOT like peppermint! Most drugs have plant origins. Becuase something is a plant, does NOT make it safe. Cocaine is from a plant. Is that okay too?!

I can't believe the ignorance about this topic. I don't understand why anyone would take the chance with their baby's health, and why on earth any midwife would condone it. This is really sad. I understand the original poster's dillema and problem, and she definitely needs medical care (and has obviously been self-medicating). But to treat it so cavalierly.. that's just pretty disgusting. Sorry. There's people in these forums freaking out about Rhogam shots and vaccines, but when it comes to taking a dangerous mystery unregulated drug FOR FUN, noone says anything. What on earth is going on here?!
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