New Warning To Pregnant Women, Nursing Mothers: Stay Off The Marijuana

By Rita Giordano
The Philadelphia Inquirer

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is cautioning pregnant women and nursing mothers to avoid marijuana due to possible adverse developmental affects in children.

The Philadelphia Inquirer

The report, published recently in the journal Pediatrics, is also a call for more research into the effects of marijuana on fetal and child growth and development, and a warning about the reservations that have already been raised.

“I think we have enough emerging and consistent evidence that there is reason to be concerned about a fetus’ exposure to prenatal marijuana,” as well as infants’ exposure to “cannabis products from the mother,” said Sheryl A. Ryan, lead author of the report and a professor of pediatrics at Pennsylvania State University.

“The fact that marijuana is legal in many states may give the impression the drug is harmless during pregnancy, especially with stories swirling on social media about using it for nausea with morning sickness,” said Ryan, who is chair of the AAP’s committee on substance use and prevention. “But, in fact, there is still a big question. We do not have good safety data on prenatal exposure to marijuana.”

The appeal for caution also extends to nursing mothers who might consider using marijuana. Another article published in Pediatrics reports that THC, an intoxicating component of marijuana, not only crosses the placenta and enters the brain of a developing fetus, but also has been found to be present in breast milk up to six days after a mother’s last cannabis use.

That article also states that marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug among breastfeeding women. According to the AAP, research statistics indicate that marijuana use among pregnant women has risen from 2.3 percent in 2002 to over 3.8 percent in 2014. Data from other studies suggest much higher percentages in some locations.

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