As laws on marijuana use loosen up in various parts of the country, it’s becoming more socially acceptable to smoke or ingest the drug.
But if you’re pregnant, you may want to think twice before smoking or vaporizing weed or using cannabis edibles.
Although some moms-to-be swear that cannabis helps combat morning sickness, it may come with some risk. A recent analysis of 24 different studies of pot use during pregnancy concluded that, overall, women who use marijuana during pregnancy are much more likely to deliver babies who are underweight and suffer complications.
The chances of giving birth to an underweight baby increase by 77 percent when infants are exposed to cannabis in the womb, according to information published in the online journal BMJ Open. Babies whose moms use the drug during pregnancy are also twice as likely to need intensive care, the analysis found.
Cannabis also impacts moms-to-be. The researchers found that women who used the drug were 36 percent more likely to have anemia than women who didn’t. Anemia can harm the fetus.
It’s not a conclusive analysis. All of the 24 studies reviewed, while of high quality, had limitations that make it hard to say for sure that marijuana caused the negative outcomes. And in some cases, the researchers couldn’t tell whether study participants used other illicit drugs or alcohol, which could have skewed the results.
Even so, the analysis fits with advice from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics, who say pregnant women should abstain from using marijuana. The American Medical Association also wants warnings to be posted on medical and recreational pot products cautioning against marijuana use during pregnancy.