As marijuana becomes legal in more states, more women seem to be using it to stave off morning sickness and other nausea symptoms associated with pregnancy.
According to a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, women who experienced intense bouts of morning sickness in their first trimester were more likely to use marijuana compared to women who experienced little or no morning sickness. In fact, those with severe morning sickness were four times more likely to rely on marijuana to ease their symptoms.
More women, in general, seem to be using marijuana for a variety of purposes.
A previous JAMA article also studied 280,000 women in California, where medical marijuana is legal. Between 2009 and 2016, the percentage of pregnant women who used marijuana jumped from 4% to around 7%.
While we all know the dangers alcohol and certain drugs have on a growing fetus, doctors don’t know what happens when a fetus is exposed to marijuana. There is limited research on the subject since ethical concerns come into play when testing the results on fetus exposure to marijuana.
It is thought, for now, that marijuana might result in lowered birth weight and a higher risk of anemia in the pregnant mothers. However, there is no conclusive evidence on the matter.
While recreational marijuana use is being legalized in more and more states, however, the research is vital to the fetus’ health.
For now, doctors and obstetricians recommend abstaining from marijuana use during pregnancy. The primary concern is the pesticides used to grow marijuana plants. Should these chemicals be transmitted to a fetus, complications in pregnancy may arise.
An estimated 6.7 million women between the ages of 15 to 44 years of age experience impaired fecundity, or difficulty getting pregnant and carrying the baby to term. For those who cope with morning sickness by using marijuana, there is still not enough evidence to support it might have an effect on a fetus.
While you should avoid drug use, marijuana use, and alcohol when you’re trying to get pregnant, you should also avoid certain multivitamins and dietary supplements meant to aid in weight loss. Consider that postpartum depression occurs in 15% of births — are stimulatives or vitamins going to make that better or worse?
“Most of the dietary supplements that are focussed on weight loss are enriched with stimulants, such as yohimbe. This can cause high blood pressure, seizures, or even heart attacks, and other potential side effects which could be disastrous on a potential pregnancy,” claims Dr. Levine, the founding partner of the CCRM fertility clinic.
Many people who also try to treat their menopause with natural remedies, including black cohosh and dong quai plant, can experience a reduction in fertility. If you’re experiencing issues with menopause, there are other ways to help ease symptoms. The North American Menopause Society claims that around 1.4 million women use bioidentical hormone treatment to boost their natural hormones.
If you’re trying to get pregnant, the best thing to do is talk to your doctor about what you can and cannot have. Until marijuana is proven safe for consumption during pregnancy, the safest course of action is to avoid it altogether.