Are you searching for the best informative article about the use of marijuana and pregnancy? Many states are legalizing the use of marijuana, meaning it's becoming accessible to many individuals. However, when it comes to knowing the effects that marijuana use has on pregnant women, you may find it a challenge to find the best information. For instance, scientists don’t want to expose human babies and mothers to any potential harm. On the other hand, pregnant mothers who use marijuana will in most cases under-report this habit or practice choices such as drinking and cigarette smoking, making research harder.
Keep in mind that the AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS (AAP) and THE AMERICAN CONGRESS OF OBSTETRICIANS AND GYNECOLOGISTS (ACOG) strongly advice against using marijuana while pregnant. These two bodies tell medical practitioners to explain this message to their patients since there are several known risks to the baby and still a lot of to be studied. In this post, we’ll look at 7 things you need to know about marijuana and pregnancy.
1. Using Marijuana While Pregnant May Result In Future Memory, Development and Behavioral Problems in a Child's Life
One important issue you need to know about the use marijuana and pregnancy is that it could lead to problems in memory, development and behavioral problems in a child's life. For instance, research has shown that kids above 3 years of age who were previously exposed to marijuana scored less on behavioral and cognitive tests when compared to other children.
At the age of 10, they had an increased risk of inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. By 14 years, they scored less in reading, math and spelling than those whose mothers didn’t smoke marijuana while pregnant.
2. The Use of Marijuana While Pregnant Increases the Chances of High-Risk Pregnancy and Other Complications
According to a 2011 Australian study conducted on almost 25000 women, it was found that babies born to mothers who used marijuana while pregnant were twice likely to end up in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) than other babies. Additional studies have also found that expectant women who smoke marijuana were likely to have babies with low birth weight and small head or prematurely go into labor.
3. If You Smoke Marijuana Before You Get Pregnant, Your Baby May Not Be Harmed
Another thing about marijuana and pregnancy is that if you used it before you got pregnant, have fewer worries that it can harm your baby, the reason being there is no evidence. However, if you're trying to conceive, it may reduce your chances. The best way to go about it is to stop smoking cigarettes and using marijuana if you intend to try to get a baby.
4. Marijuana Use May Affect Your Baby's Eyes
Exposure to marijuana smoke in the Uterus by human babies may have adverse and lasting effects on the structure of the eye in addition to the vision according to studies. These changes can continue with age. For instance, according to one paper, it was found that marijuana exposure during pregnancy affects eye development in mice. The retinas of mice that were exposed to smoke from marijuana were quite thinner than those of mice that weren’t exposed.
5. Marijuana Use May Result In Negative Effects on Your Baby's Brain, Heart and Nervous Systems
One effect of marijuana on adults is that it affects the cognitive and memory ability. It’s for this reason that researchers believe it can lead to similar impacts on the unborn baby. Remember that it also changes the heart rate in adults, which means that it may not be healthy for pregnant mothers. This product can stay in the body system for 30 days, and the baby may be exposed to it while in the uterus.
6. Marijuana Use May Not Cause Birth Defects
Many studies have found no link between the use of marijuana while pregnant and congenital disabilities. However, one study in 2014 found that mothers who used marijuana had higher chances of having anencephaly, a neural tube defect that leads to severe brain malformation. Therefore, many doctors say there is not a lot of enough and conclusive evidence that the use of marijuana while pregnant can directly cause physical birth defects.
7. Marijuana Enters Your Baby's Bloodstream
Marijuana’s primary ingredient is known as the tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. It alters the mind of the individual, resulting in lots of changes in the body. They include a change in the brain functions and heart rate. THC can cross the placenta and enter the fetus' bloodstream, which means that if you use marijuana while pregnant, you're sharing the drug with your baby. The result is that medical researchers have several reasons to believe marijuana can affect your baby’s brain, heart and other systems.
The above informative post on marijuana and pregnancy should make you consult your doctor if you use it while pregnant. It will ensure you get proper prenatal care. Remember that if you want your baby to get the best start in his or her life, you should be honest with your practitioner about how much and often you use marijuana.