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Marijuana During Pregnancy

Marijuana Usage During Pregnancy

Now that marijuana is legal for personal usage in the state of Oregon many women are asking if it is safe to use during pregnancy.


Health effects of marijuana during pregnancy

  • The Oregon Health Authority’s scientific advisory committee is looking at current data in order to make evidence-based health recommendations to minimize negative health effects of marijuana use. Here’s what we can say so far:
  • There is no safe level of marijuana use during pregnancy (including use for nausea/vomiting as a result of the earlier weeks of pregnancy). Marijuana can pass to a fetus or baby during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • When you’re pregnant…If you use marijuana in any form during pregnancy, it may harm your baby. This includes smoking, eating, vaping, creams or lotions.


There is no known safe amount of marijuana use during pregnancy.


Marijuana usage while breastfeeding

  • If you’re breastfeeding…The chemical in marijuana that makes you feel high, called THC, can get into breast milk and may harm your baby.


Current research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website states the following:

  • Marijuana use during pregnancy can be harmful to your baby’s health. The chemicals in marijuana (in particular, tetrahydrocannabinol or THC) pass through your system to your baby and can harm your baby’s development.
  • Although more research is needed to better understand how marijuana may affect you and your baby during pregnancy, it is recommended that pregnant women do not use marijuana.


What are the potential health effects of using marijuana during my pregnancy?

  • Some research shows that using marijuana while you are pregnant can cause health problems in newborns— including low birth weight.
  • Breathing marijuana smoke can also be bad for you and your baby. Marijuana smoke has many of the same chemicals as tobacco smoke and may increase the chances for developmental problems in your baby.


Can using marijuana during my pregnancy negatively impact my baby after birth?

  • Some research shows marijuana use during pregnancy may make it hard for your child to pay attention or to learn; these issues may only become noticeable as your child grows older.
  • Separate from the direct, chemical effects of marijuana on a baby, use of marijuana may affect a mother’s ability to be able to properly care for her baby.


Does using marijuana affect breastfeeding?

  • Chemicals from marijuana can be passed to your baby through breast milk. THC is stored in fat and is slowly released over time, meaning your baby could still be exposed even after you stop using marijuana.
  • However, data on the effects of marijuana exposure to your baby through breastfeeding are limited and conflicting. To limit potential risk to the infant, breastfeeding mothers should avoid marijuana use.


Here’s the bottom line…

There is no known safe amount of marijuana use during pregnancy (smoking, vaping, eating, etc…). Women who smoke/vape during and after pregnancy put their babies at risk of long-lasting, irreversible health problems, including pre-term delivery, low birth weight, developmental delay, respiratory diseases such as bronchitis and asthma, decreased ability to breastfeed, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

If you’re pregnant, thinking of becoming pregnant, or breastfeeding and need help to stop using marijuana, talk to your doctor.

If you think you might be pregnant and need a free pregnancy test, contact us for an appointment. Our consultants and nurses can talk to you about marijuana usage and help answer any questions you might have.


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Content developed from the CDC web page and the Oregon public Heath web page