Smoking Weed During Pregnancy May Have A Positive Affect On Newborns
By Madame Noire
What if you could smoke weed during pregnancy without having to worry about it affecting your baby? Would you do it?
Pregnancy is not always a walk in the park. Yes, you get a great present in the end but the journey to get that little blessing can vary so much. For some women the nine month journey is smooth sailing and for others there’s nausea, cramping, constipation, headaches, indigestion, nose bleeds, sleeplessness and the list can go on and on.
There are almost 1.5 million medical marijuana users in the United States that use marijuana to treat nausea, nerve pain, muscle spasms and general pain relief.
However, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists still recommend that women abstain from marijuana use because some data has show that children who were exposed to marijuana in utero had lower scores on tests of visual problem solving, visual-motor coordination, and visual analysis than children who were not exposed to marijuana.
In a recent study called Maternal Marijuana Use and Adverse Neonatal Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis two researchers extracted data from 21 studies about the affects of marijuana during pregnancy. They found that marijuana during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of low birth weight and preterm delivery however they admit that other factors like tobacco use could have contributed to those results.
But then there is also research that shows marijuana use may have had a positive affect. A study done in 1994 in Jamaica by Dr. Melanie Dreher, who currently sits on the Chicago Board of Health looked at pregnant mothers before and after delivery. The study which was published in The American Journal of Pediatrics in 1994 looked at mothers in rural Jamaica who were using cannabis for morning sickness and mothers who weren’t. To the surprise of Dr. Dreher, the babies of the mothers who smoked had normal birth weights and actually ended up showing better social skills than the other group of babies. She explained what she felt contributed to those results and why she didn’t continue with another study.
“[We] attribute it to rather the social differences between the marijuana-using mothers and the non-using mothers. Even though they were the same, they were matched for age and socioeconomic status, but there were differences in the lifestyles of the ingesting and non-ingesting mothers that we believe accounted for the differences. For example, many of the using mothers also were vendors of ganja and so they were pretty much at home most of the time in that neonatal period, so they were quite attentive to their babies.”
“Again we found the performance of the children wasn’t correlated in any way with the neonatal exposure to cannabis,” says Dreher. “We would have done another study but the National Institute of Health really was not interested in funding a study that did not show something negative about marijuana.”
Experts are still somewhere in the middle on the outcome of smoking marijuana while pregnant because there is just not enough research on the issue.