When it comes to the food and substances consumed while pregnant, there is a lot of criticism, mythology and taboo regarding what’s healthy for both mom and fetus.
Alcohol has long been studied with some steadfast conclusions, whereas marijuana, which is becoming more socially acceptable to treat various conditions, hasn’t been quite as much. Because of this, a lot of pregnant people may not exactly be sure what to do (and hey, there’s no judgment here, we’re just giving you the findings).
It recently came out, however, that THC component of the drug can affect a baby’s brain–and of course, that is not ideal. According to Jezebel, the findings aren’t so clear-cut–they pointed to the latest report from the the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “Although there are limitations to the data on marijuana use during pregnancy…worrisome trends do emerge.”
That is skeptical at best, and clearly means they advise caution. Jezebel went on to say:
“Children who were exposed to marijuana in utero are more likely to have cognitive and behavioral problems later in life. The experts I spoke with absolutely did not recommend smoking weed while you’re pregnant. If you want a yes or no, there’s your no.”
So, why? Well, basically THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol) can enter the fetus–and can also find its way into breast milk–meaning your kid could definitely be exposed to the drug–and potentially alter normal growth.
Small studies have been rather inconclusive, like this one:
“Marijuana use during pregnancy is not an independent risk factor for adverse neonatal outcomes[.] These data do not imply that marijuana use during pregnancy should be encouraged or condoned.”
According to Colorado’s Retail Marijuana Public Health Advisory Committee, the adverse affects could include attention problems, decreased IQ scores in young children, cognitive ability, and growth, stillbirth, heart defects, and increased chance of depression.
The only known benefit to using marijuana while pregnant is to keep nausea at bay, which is known as hyperemesis gravidarum–which may be a risk some are willing (and may have to) make.
Of course, I’m no doctor, so with all these decisions that take health of the pregnant person and fetus into consideration, it’s always best to bring concerns to a trusted healthcare professional.
This post is part of the Here.Now series, which seeks to destigmatize mental health,
and is made possible by UJA-Federation of New York and The Jewish Board.
You can find other educational mental health resources here.