According to the statistics, marijuana has become widely popular among pregnant women in the United States over the past few years. These women use marijuana to deal with morning sickness and nausea during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Previous studies have shown that infants exposed to marijuana have a higher risk of being anemic or having a lower birth weight. Also, these newborns are usually placed in neonatal intensive health care.
Based on the estimates, roughly 4% of pregnant women ages between eighteen and 44 reported two years ago that they had consumed marijuana in the month before the survey, compared to 2.4% in 2002.
Nora D. Volkow, the Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, says that some online sources present marijuana as the ideal solution for pregnant women to deal with nausea. As such, physicians are urged to raise awareness about the risks of marijuana use among pregnant women.
Needless to say that they must not advise women to take this drug during pregnancy. The researchers note that most of the women involved in the study took marijuana during the first three months of pregnancy.
However, Volkow stresses that the fetus is most vulnerable during this time. Even if the public health specialists haven’t established yet whether there is a clear association between marijuana and impaired brain development, previous studies have revealed that marijuana exposure during pregnancy causes impaired functions in children related to visual memory, attention in school years, and impulse control.
Another ongoing study has identified a link between prenatal exposure to marijuana and restricted fetal growth. Many gynecologists and obstetricians strongly recommend breastfeeding and pregnant women, as well as those who consider pregnancy to be screened for marijuana use.
Also, these women are advised to refrain themselves from consuming this drug and other hallucinogenic substances during pregnancy. In the latest study, the scientists analyzed data from 200,510 participants, out of which 10,587 were pregnant women.
Among those who were pregnant, the rates of marijuana use increased by 62 percent in the previous month before the study from 2002 to 2014. Women between 18 and 25 years old consumed marijuana more often, so they were more likely to experience the detrimental effects.
Also, the rates of marijuana use among women who were not pregnant increased from roughly six percent in 2002 to nine percent in 2014.
Image Source:Public Domain Pictures