For many women, pregnancy is a happy occasion. But, this is not always the case. According to a study published by the Harvard Medical School, depression is an accompanying menace to pregnancy. About 14% of pregnant women are diagnosed with clinical depression during and after pregnancy.
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What Are the Effects of Depression on Your Unborn Baby?
A depressed mother could fail to develop a bond with their baby. And in return, the baby develops mental and behavioral problems.
In some cases, the mother’s stress hormone could be passed to the kid through the placenta. As a result, the baby develops depression at some point as they grow up.
Despite the many treatment plans in the medical industry, there is always room for an alternative treatment method. And when looking for relief, pregnant women turn to marijuana.
Now, this poses the question, is it safe to use medical marijuana during pregnancy?
Marijuana is a legal drug in many states across the United States. However, this does not mean that it is the safest drug or treatment to use, especially when you’re expecting a child. A study conducted by the University of Washington seeks to identify the impact of using marijuana on the mother and their children. And according to the study, it is quite challenging to assess the risk of exposing your unborn baby to THC doses at such a young age.
The risk assessment faces many hurdles as the data collected could be inaccurate, and it does not reflect the true nature of modern-day marijuana consumption.
How Common Is the Use of Medical Marijuana During Pregnancy?
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, ACOG, 5% of pregnant women report using marijuana during their pregnancy. But, this number increases to about 28% among socio-economically disadvantaged women.
In another national study conducted by Washington State University, 10.9% of pregnant women use marijuana not later than one year before pregnancy. And of these women, 16.2% have previously used it daily.
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Why Would Pregnant Women Resort to Using Medical Marijuana?
Expectant mothers experience many struggles in the course of their pregnancy. And for some mothers, these conditions worsen due to their environment. Imagine having an unplanned pregnancy in an abusive home, with not enough social and financial support. You bet it right; this takes a toll on you. So, what is it that could compel a pregnant woman to use marijuana?
To Manage Health Issues
From physical issues such as nausea and pain to psychological challenges such as anxiety and depression, pregnant women experience the worst of them all. And for some women, taking marijuana is not only for them but also for their unborn babies. Marijuana helps keep the food down, thus nourishing both the mother and the baby. Also, it helps reduce stress and anxiety, which helps these women perform better as parents.
To Avoid Other Traditional Medication
Clinical depression medicines during and after the pregnancy have some severe side effects. For instance, opioids and anti-psychotic medicines can be addictive and have adverse effects on the baby. So, to avoid the harmful effects on the baby, some mothers may opt for marijuana.
THC, a cannabinoid found in marijuana, can easily cross the placenta to the baby. And this exposes your unborn baby to a myriad of mental and developmental risks.
So, what are some of these health risks of smoking marijuana?
To Newborn Babies
- Stillbirth – Women who smoke marijuana have a 2-time higher risk of stillbirth than women who do not.
- Neuro-behavior—children exposed to prenatal marijuana show subtle signs of poor brain function.
These conditions include:
- Poor habituation – the babies take longer to decrease sensitivity to light and noise
- High levels of irritability
- Increased startle response
- The inability of the infant to regulate themselves
Babies exposed to marijuana during pregnancy have a higher chance of placement in the neonatal intensive care unit and have a decreased infant birth weight.
As for the Mothers, You Are More Likely to Develop Maternal Anemia
Some of the long-term effects would include the loss of a mother-child attachment and interaction. Also, prenatal exposure to marijuana could negatively affect your baby’s behavior, cognition, and academic achievement.
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Smoking marijuana is neither good for you nor your unborn baby. Maybe you are doing it with good intentions, trying to make the baby survive the hardship you are going through. But, there are better ways to manage any stress and depression you are facing during pregnancy.
So, is it safe to use marijuana during pregnancy? The answer is a hard no if you want your baby to be healthy and connect with you as they grow up.
MMJ Doctor offers consultation on marijuana consumption. You can buy Medical Marijuana from any MMJ dispensary. Our medical marijuana doctors are available to help you 24 hours a day.