In April 2017, Reuters Health*reported on a large national survey that found that approximately 14% of pregnant adolescents are using marijuana. This is twice as much as in non-pregnant teens. Unfortunately, the legalization of marijuana in some states may have had the effect of making it seem more main-stream and therefore appear to be less harmful than it actually is.
This is concerning because a young women’s own brains are still in the development stage and we know that smoking pot impacts the brain. In addition, teen moms already have a higher risk of having smaller babies because they delay getting prenatal care and are more likely to smoke cigarettes during pregnancy. Some pregnant adolescents may smoke pot to help decrease symptoms of nausea, but most have been smoking pot before pregnancy.
According to ACOG (American Congress of Obstetricians & Gynecologists)**the use of marijuana during pregnancy increases the risk of neurodevelopment problems in children such as:
- Visual-motor coordination
- Visual analysis
- Visual problem solving
- Behavioral problems
At the PRC our goal is to offer all women good information and referrals to help them have the healthiest outcome possible for themselves and their babies.
*Reuters Health News, April 17, 2017, Lisa Rapaport.
**ACOG, “Ob-gyns Warn Against Marijuana Use for Pregnant Women, June 22, 2015.