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posted by Fnord666 on Thursday December 28 2017, @11:47PM   Printer-friendly
from the is-it-4:20-already? dept.

Pregnant women are increasingly using cannabis, according to two studies published this year:

More pregnant women seem to be using pot -- sometimes to ease the nausea of morning sickness or heightened anxiety -- and a new study suggests that this slight rise in marijuana use is most pronounced among those younger in age. The prevalence of marijuana use among a sample of moms-to-be in California climbed from 4.2% to 7.1% from 2009 through 2016, according to a research letter published in the journal JAMA on Tuesday [DOI: 10.1001/jama.2017.17225] [DX]. Among pregnant teens younger than 18, marijuana use climbed from 12.5% to 21.8%, and among women 18 to 24, marijuana use climbed from 9.8% to 19%, the researchers found.

That research involved only certain women in California, but a separate study of pregnant women across the United States, published in JAMA [open, DOI: 10.1001/jama.2016.17383] [DX] in January, found that those who reported using marijuana in the previous month grew from 2.37% in 2002 to 3.85% in 2014. The women were 18 to 44.

Doctors caution that the health effects of marijuana on a fetus remain unclear but could include low birth weight and developmental problems [DOI: 10.1097/CHI.0b013e318160b3f0] [DX], according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many of the chemicals in marijuana, like tetrahydrocannabinol, known as THC, could pass through a mother's system to her baby. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that "women who are pregnant or contemplating pregnancy should be encouraged to discontinue marijuana use" and "to discontinue use of marijuana for medicinal purposes in favor of an alternative therapy." Additionally, "there are insufficient data to evaluate the effects of marijuana use on infants during lactation and breastfeeding, and in the absence of such data, marijuana use is discouraged," according to the recommendations.

Also at LA Times.

Related: Tennessee to Jail Women Who Use Drugs while Pregnant


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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by frojack on Friday December 29 2017, @02:17AM (3 children)

    by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 29 2017, @02:17AM (#615361) Journal

    The quote is the usual scare tactic employed when they don't know didly squat.
    It could just as well read:

    effects of marijuana on a fetus remain unclear but could include calmer babies, fewer tantrums, better infant appetite, etc,
      etc,

    There is a large cadre of kids of stoners and hippies from the 60s through the 80s. I've known some of them, and most are normal, certainly on average no different from any other random group. Wouldn't we know by now?

    Fetal Alcohol Syndrome became a Thing virtually over night.

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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by dry on Friday December 29 2017, @03:49AM (2 children)

    by dry (223) on Friday December 29 2017, @03:49AM (#615405) Journal

    There were studies done in the '70's, in Jamaica where people use a lot of marijuana. The findings were that babies exposed to larger amounts of pot as fetuses were born slightly larger. They weren't sure if it was the pot or the subjects selling pot and having a higher standard of living.
    There were quite a few various studies done back in the '70's on marijuana usage, but much of it was repressed as the findings didn't agree with what the politicians wanted to find.

    • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Friday December 29 2017, @04:28AM (1 child)

      by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 29 2017, @04:28AM (#615426) Journal

      It's because the babies were born with an unholy case of the munchies and nursed more. And that applied to the third trimester too, meaning the placenta became more efficient at drawing nutrients.

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      I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
      • (Score: 5, Informative) by dry on Friday December 29 2017, @04:58AM

        by dry (223) on Friday December 29 2017, @04:58AM (#615446) Journal

        Yea, that was my thought as I typed the above.
        Unluckily it is hard to find studies from the '70's and I might be mis-remembering dates.
        Here's one from the '94, http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/hemp/medical/can-babies.htm [druglibrary.org] which shows no differences at 3 days and at 1 month, to quote,

        At 1 month, the exposed neonates showed better physiological stability and required less examiner facilitation to reach organized states. The neonates of heavy-marijuana-using mothers had better scores on autonomic stability, quality of alertness, irritability, and self-regulation and were judged to be more rewarding for caregivers.

        With the conclusion that it was mostly,

        traceable to the cultural positioning and social and economic characteristics of mothers using marijuana that select for the use of marijuana but also promote neonatal development.

        An article about a study from the '80's, https://herb.co/2016/03/02/jamaican-study-gives-surprising-insight-into-cannabis-pregnancy/ [herb.co] which seemed to conclude that mellow mothers raised better children whether using pot or not.