Post # 1
My sister-in-law smokes marijuana regularly (not sure how much exactly, but I think multiple times a day) and she just found out she’s 4 weeks pregnant. It seems like all the information online is biased in one direction or another. Does anyone know of any good studies on whether the baby has been affected (assuming she stops immediately)?
Post # 3
Obviously she needs to stop right away, I’m not a medical professional but my mom smoked when she was pregnant with me and I turned out ok.
I think what is done is done. Honestly, it is probably not much more damaging to the baby than a woman who continued to drink for the first few weeks before she found out she was pregnant.
Post # 4
ummm yeah any drug use during pregnancy can be hazardous to her baby and cause birth defects such as low birth weight.
Post # 5
Are you getting this information from anywhere specific?
Post # 6
As long as she stops now, everything should be fine. If major damage had been done at this point it would most likely result in a miscarriage. She may have increased her risks but lots of people throughout the world smoke, especially before they know they’re pregnant and have healthy babies (not saying it’s a good idea though). I think most often pot is connected to lower birth weight and some focus issues if used throughout pregnancy but there’s not a ton of research on it. Check babycenter out, sometimes they have doctors and pharmacists address these kinds of issues, and a brief glance through pubmed correlates with low birth weight and some cognitive studies (but they’re both for use during the majority of pregnancy).
Post # 7
marijuana [like cigarettes] restricts oxygen to the fetus.
If she stops immediately she is less likely to cause [further] damage to the fetus.
However, she should consult with her doctor to see if there has already been damage done, how extensive it is and prepare for the worst[but hope for the best, ya know?]. As far as medical studies go, marijuana can be linked to low birth weight but not much else definitively.
I have personally known women who smoked throughout their entire pregnancy & had normal children–however they may have just been lucky.
Post # 8
honestly, if that’s all she’s doing, i wouldn’t be worried about physical effects on the fetus caused by her smoking pot. i would be concerned if she were smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol. there are a lot of studies, but it’s often difficult to discern what was caused by what, and how much of it can be related to lifestyles. it’s also hard to do studies on the subject here, because mothers don’t often admit to taking part in illegal activities or want to take part in studies relating to it. there is a study that was done in Jamaica, ‘Prenatal Marijuana Exposure and Neonatal Outcomes in Jamaica: An Ethnographic Study.’ they found no decrease in the scores of newborns born to mothers who smoked marijuana heavily during pregnancy, and one month after birth, on average those infants scored higher in tests.
that being said, smoking ANYTHING isn’t good for you, or a fetus! if she goes into preterm labor, it is often standard practice to drug test infants born early for unknown reasons- and they don’t need permission to do this in most places. if the baby tests positive, they will get filed on and it depends on what state you live in what would happen next, some states take it very seriously, some don’t. as long as your SIL knows the risks, all you can do is hope she decides to be the healthiest she can be, and quits. but if she doesn’t, i seriously doubt anything that could be wrong with the fetus can be blamed on her smoking marijuana. i wouldn’t start a war over this, not if you want to be involved in your niece or nephew’s life. if they are ready to be parents, they’ll likely cleanup their act.
Post # 9
I work on labor and delivery and unfortunately I see babies born to cigarette smokers, marijuana smokers, drug abusers etc, just about every single day. It’s sad. It does cause low birth weight but it also affects the newborns ability to have strong healthy lungs when it is born, causing what we call “sticky” lungs, where the alveoli’s are underdeveloped. This has caused babies to be resuscitated in the delivery room and rushed to the NICU. It also can cause the newborn to go through withdrawal within the first 48 hours. This is the most difficult to watch happen. Most likely, once the baby goes home, it will have to go on breathing treatment…this also happened to my niece when my sister thought only smoking one cigarette a day was okay and wouldn’t do anything. Now, not ALL babies have to deal with this, every baby IS different, BUT those are the “lucky” ones. Every person is different. The sooner you quit smoking, the BETTER! To me, smoking during pregnancy whether it’s cigarettes or marijuana use etc, is being selfish. You’re only thinking about yourself and your own cravings…not what’s best for the baby.
Post # 10
She should definitely quit immediately. But the first 4-8 weeks or so are when all the major organs and stuff are being formed, and if that goes awry, it’s usually catastrophic. Tell her to see her doctor ASAP to get on vitamins and get other advice, and to stop smoking now. Her doc can look extra closely during her second trimester ultrasound to try and make sure nothing major is wrong.
So summary (from what I know in medicine) is that it’s certainly not a good thing, but probably not horrible as long as she stops now.
Post # 11
There is group called Motherisk run out of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. They offer advice and counselling (over the phone) with regards to prenatal exposures of all kinds. They’ve been collecting scientific data and conducting their own research for more than 25 years now, so they have an incredible amount of information to offer expectant or breastfeeding moms.
They also have a very helpful website: http://www.motherisk.org
More specifically the info they have on their website with regards to marijuana exposure and pregnancy (includes scientific references etc):
Hope that helps!
Post # 12
Post # 13
there was a famous study done in jamaica that showed minimal long term effects of marijuana exposure on infants. I did a research paper on it in a grad psychopharmacology class. study here:
however, I wouldn’t do it, and there are many other studies that refute this.
Post # 14
Thanks so much for everyone’s response! I really appreciate all of the input. I had heard of that study done in Jamaica, but I’m pretty sure it had a sample size of under 50, so I’m not sure it is very telling. Basically it seems like there is a distinct lack of resources and a lot of bias on both sides (in the articles I’ve found).
Thanks for the resource! That link actually says that “occasional use of marijuana during the first trimester is unlikely to cause birth defects.” Of course, hers was more than occasional use, but the article doesn’t actually point to anything that shows that there is damage done in the first two weeks following implantation, which was what I was asking.