OB/GYN’s Warn Against Marijuana Use for Pregnant Women

Ob-gyns Warn Against Marijuana Use for Pregnant Women 

Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug during pregnancy. The self-reported prevalence of marijuana use during pregnancy ranges from 2 percent to 5 percent, but increases to 15 percent to 28 percent among young, urban, socioeconomically disadvantaged women. Additionally, as a growing number of states legalize marijuana for medical and recreational purposes, there are concerns among health care professionals that its use by pregnant women could potentially increase.


In recommending that obstetrician-gynecologists counsel pregnant women on marijuana use cessation, the new committee opinion notes that studies suggest marijuana is dangerous to the fetus’s development in a variety of ways. Data 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 utero. Additionally, prenatal marijuana exposure is associated with decreased attention span and behavioral problems. It also is an independent predictor of marijuana use by age 14. Other studies show that marijuana use may increase the likelihood of stillbirth and smaller birth lengths and head circumferences.


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