A growing number of pregnant mums in the US are admitting to using marijuana despite the impact it has on their unborn child.

While the use of recreational cannabis is illegal in Australia, the number of mums in the US who admit to using the drug while trying to conceive or in the early stages of pregnancy is on the rise.

A new study has found that 12.5% of women surveyed had used marijuana in the year prior to becoming pregnant, and perhaps more disturbingly, 3.4% continued the habit while pregnant.

Weighing Up The Risks

Lead author of the study and research scientist Kelly Young-Wolff says that many women are unaware of the effect marijuana may have on their unborn child.

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“No amount of cannabis use has been shown to be safe during pregnancy,” she said. “We do know that cannabis crosses the placenta and reaches the fetus.

Babies whose mothers used marijuana while pregnant were shown to be at greater risk of health concerns, including low birth weight.

“There is reason to think that the risks vary depending on how women are using, and there has been an increase in alternative forms of cannabis consumption in recent years, like vaping and edibles,” Kelly said.

Changing Priorities

Advice from the Mater Mother’s Hospital in Brisbane reflects the finding of the study, with pregnant women and mothers who are breastfeeding advised to eliminate the drug completely.

“Babies exposed to regular cannabis use during pregnancy may exhibit withdrawal-like symptoms after birth,” their website reads. “Cannabis enters breast milk to some extent and may also affect breast milk supply.”

A study conducted by The University of Adelaide in 2016 also found that cannabis use could contribute to babies being born pre-term, potentially threatening their survival.

“Based on our findings, we consider marijuana to be a major public health concern for pregnant women and their babies,” the study said.

Are you surprised by the number of women who use marijuana while pregnant? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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  • The high percentage definitely surprises me. Definitely not worth risking the health of your child


  • It is rather saddening – babies deserve the best possible start in life.


  • Wow, surprised this is a thing. Seems a tad irresponsible.


  • I can’t believe they are doing it and think its ok, surely that’s child abuse


  • I am surprised actually! Didnt know that!


  • It doesn’t surprise me.
    But to eliminate the drug (and other drugs & alcohol) completely during pregnancy is a good idea.


  • Nothing like this should ever be classified safe


  • It doesn’t surprise me, no. But I think drinking, smoking any substance or taking drugs of any form, unless prescribed, during pregnancy is not on. If we choose to be mothers we must put our babies first. It’s unfair otherwise to the unborn child, whom does not have that choice at the time.


  • I think any drug has risks during pregnancy.


  • I can’t see how this is safe at all. I also am surprised at how many mums use it during pregnancy!


  • Is it really worth the risk? You really have to ask yourself, if you can’t go 9 months without getting stoned, should you really be having children?


  • I would never use it, in particular while pregnant. Quite shocking that so many pregnant women use it.

    • The best gift a mum can give her baby is eating well and avoiding all substances that may cause harm. Babies really do deserve the best start as they grow and develop.


  • If it passes through the placenta you are putting both yourself and your baby at risk. Most babies whose Mums have used Cannibas or any other illegal drugs suffer withdrawal symptoms. It is bad enough that some prescribed medications can put your baby at risk.


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