Most people realize that they shouldn’t smoke while pregnant. Sadly, this wasn’t always the case and the effects of postnatal development are well documented. Smoking marijuana while pregnant is a topic of conversation that hasn’t really been fully debated, however, and a lot of research needs to be done before we can definitively tell people that they shouldn’t do something that, well, they probably know they shouldn’t do. Although we don’t have enough information on what marijuana will do to a developing fetus, here are a few things we do know about the effects of smoking pot while you’re pregnant.
First of all, it’s important that people realize and acknowledge that the number of women seeking treatment for substance abuse for marijuana while pregnant is going up. If you know someone who needs help, then do your best to responsibly intervene and provide that person with the resources they need to find the right kind of help.
New York animal studies have been conducted that show an increased likelihood of miscarriage when marijuana is used early on in a pregnancy. While no similar human studies have been conducted, you should still consider the animal studies relevant. We might not know for sure, but when it comes to the health of your baby, you should act in accordance with the studies we do have. If an animal study isn’t enough to convince you, then here’s a better source of information: research has indicated that stillborn children are more likely to result when a mother uses marijuana during pregnancy. Learning deficits and potential neurological developmental disorders are also a possibility based on animal studies.
There are a few studies that have reported a connection between developmental disorders and a mother’s marijuana use while pregnant. Other studies show a connection between marijuana use and premature birth, but yet more studies contradict them. It’s more likely that repeated long-term use increases the chances of such side effects. More evidence is required in order to know for sure.
The same lack of research accompanies marijuana-use and breastfeeding. Potential links between THC exposure and motor development might exist during the first year of life, and THC may be present in breast milk when a mother uses marijuana regularly.
We don’t have enough information and haven’t conducted enough research to draw many conclusions on the effects of marijuana-use when pregnant, and unfortunately the ignorance of the scientific community in this respect leads a lot of women to smoke in order to treat symptoms of nausea brought about by pregnancy (or simply because they want to). As always, it’s important to check with your doctor if you’re a user of medicinal marijuana and wondering if you should terminate use while you’re pregnant.