Parenting Resource

Pregnancy and Marijuana: What You Need to Know

One in 20 women in the U.S. says she uses marijuana at some point during pregnancy. There are lots of reasons to hold off on using while you’re pregnant, even if it’s legal in your state.

  • Marijuana, in ANY form, can be harmful during pregnancy. Researchers are still studying the risks of marijuana use during pregnancy. These risks may include low birthweight, an increased risk of premature birth or stillbirth, and learning difficulties as your child grows. Stopping marijuana use as soon as you know you are pregnant helps to keep your baby safe.

  • Marijuana won’t actually cure morning sickness. Some pregnant women use marijuana because they think it helps with morning sickness. But guess what? There isn’t any research to back that up. If you’re bothered by morning sickness, talk to your doctor to learn about safe treatments you might try.

  • Just because marijuana is legal, doesn’t mean it’s safe. Many states have legalized marijuana for medical use, recreational use, or both. That doesn’t make it safe to use during pregnancy, even if you have a prescription. When marijuana is smoked or eaten, the chemicals reach the fetus by crossing the placenta. These chemicals can impact your growing baby. Make sure to tell any doctor you see that you are pregnant. Review your current prescriptions (including marijuana) with your doctors to keep your baby safe.

Marijuana use can also harm your baby after birth….

  • Marijuana can pass into your breastmilk. If you’re using marijuana in any form, THC (the active compound in marijuana) is present in your breastmilk. Experts recommend that breastfeeding women avoid using marijuana. We just don’t know how safe it is for your baby.

  • Marijuana smoke in your home can be bad for your baby. Second-hand smoke from marijuana may be as harmful as second-hand smoke from cigarettes, especially for young children.

  • Marijuana edibles can lead to unintentional poisoning of young children. Cases of young children mistakenly eating THC products are on the rise. Edibles often look like the foods young children enjoy, like candy or baked goods. When young children eat edibles, they can end up in the hospital with overdose symptoms.

Know the facts about marijuana use and make an informed choice. Avoiding marijuana while you’re pregnant keeps your baby safe and puts you on the path to healthy parenting from the start.

Need help quitting marijuana? Talk to your doctor, visit www.samhsa.gov, or call this 24-hour help line: 800-662-HELP (4357).

  • Author

    Jodie Fishman

    Senior Writer/Training Specialist

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