Some mothers consume marijuana or cannabidiol (CBD) during pregnancy, not knowing that they are putting their health and their baby at risk.
Why marijuana is not safe in pregnancy
Studies have found that exposing the baby to cannabis can lead to long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes that persist into young adulthood. In other words: babies who are exposed to marijuana while pregnant could later have difficulties with language and speech, motor skills, behavior, memory, learning, or other neurological functions.
Some other studies suggest that high doses of CBD could cause problems in the reproductive systems of male fetuses.
For these and other health reasons, the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urges women not to use marijuana or any type of CBD product while pregnant or breastfeeding, as it could be dangerous for both mother and child.
The effects of marijuana on you
If you use marijuana during pregnancy, you may develop any of these symptoms:
- You may feel dizzy most of the time, which could put you at risk of falls
- Your judgment may be impaired, putting you at risk of harmful behaviors
- You may have lower levels of oxygen in your system, which can lead to breathing problems
- You may even develop permanent lung injury
The effects of marijuana on your baby
Cannabis use may have some of these effects on your baby:
- Impaired brain development before birth
- Low birth weight
- Increased chances of stillbirth
- Increased chances of premature birth, especially if you use both marijuana and cigarettes during pregnancy
- Behavioral problems in childhood, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- Trouble paying attention in school
Marijuana and breastfeeding
THC, the chemical inside Marijuana, can pass through breast milk and affect babies in many ways, especially their brain function. While data on the effects of CBD exposure on the infant through breastfeeding is limited and conflicting, most doctors recommend avoiding all CBD products during breastfeeding.
Dr. Wanwadee Sapmee Panyakat (OB-GYN) (1 July 2022)