Marijuana During Pregnancy Endangers Infants

In the film “Parenthood,” Mr. and Mrs. Buckman (Steve Martin and Mary Steenburgen) show up for a meeting at their son’s school and are told he has behavioral problems and needs remedial education.

Angered by the news, Martin’s character accuses his wife of marijuana use while she was pregnant.

Laws around cannabis use have changed drastically in the three decades since that film was released, and there’s far less stigma about marijuana for both medical and recreational use.

But the facts about marijuana use during pregnancy haven’t changed: Cannabis and pregnancy don’t mix.

A study published in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine involved 450 pregnant women who self-reported using marijuana.

The researchers found that marijuana use during pregnancy may raise the risk for decreased fetal oxygen levels and lower infant birth weight, and is associated with poorer infant health.

This is alarming because marijuana use during pregnancy has doubled over the past 15 years, and 70% of women believe marijuana use is safe during pregnancy.

The inhalation of smoke seems as likely a culprit as the cannabinoid compounds for the detrimental effects on fetal brain development and overall health. Pregnant women should avoid being around secondhand cannabis smoke as well.

If you need help managing pregnancy-related symptoms like nausea, insomnia, or anxiety (marijuana is touted for easing these problems), acupuncture and aromatherapy are reported to be very effective.

Talk with your doctor about other safe interventions such as daily exercise, talk therapy, and changing your diet and eating schedule.

-Medix

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