Marijuana is becoming legal in many places and use among pregnant women is more and more common. But as with most substances, there are risks with using marijuana during pregnancy. But many wonder, how bad is it?
Research continues to be done, but more and more the evidence is pointing to concerning harmful effects to both mother and baby when marijuana is used during pregnancy.
Marijuana is one of those substances that crosses the placenta – the organ that works to sustain your baby as it develops inside you. When you smoke, vape, or ingest marijuana, it gets into your baby’s developing organs, including its brain, heart, intestines, etc. When you are around others who smoke marijuana, it may get into your baby’s developing system as well.
Marijuana use during pregnancy has been linked to:
- Anemia in the mother
- Worsening of nausea and vomiting over time
- Miscarriage and stillbirth
- Malformations of baby’s head, brain, heart, and gastrointestinal systems
- Neurological problems
- Behavior problems
- Memory problems
- Mental health disorders
- Growth restrictions
- Premature birth
Some of these harmful effects can last into the teenage years or be lifelong for your child.
More research is needed, but as of today, there is no known safe amount or timing of marijuana exposure during pregnancy or breastfeeding. As with tobacco and alcohol use, marijuana use during pregnancy should be avoided whenever possible.
It’s always good to talk with your healthcare provider if you have questions about marijuana use during pregnancy (or any other health concerns for that matter). He or she will be glad you’re asking the questions and eager to help you make well-informed decisions about the health and wellbeing of both you and your baby!