Marijuana Use While Trying to Conceive, Pregnant & Breastfeeding

Marijuana Use While Trying to Conceive, Pregnant & Breastfeeding

Marijuana is a mixture of dried parts of the Cannabis sativa hemp plant. It is legal in most states for medicinal use and is used recreationally by many people. In addition to THC, marijuana contains hundreds of other chemicals that could be potentially harmful. 


Cannabis Usage and Getting Pregnant


If you are trying to conceive, you may want to step away from using weed or being around people who are smoking it. A study from the National Institutes of Health found that female cannabis users could have a more difficult time getting pregnant than their non-using counterparts. The study found that for each monthly cycle, marijuana users were 41% less likely to conceive than non-users.  


Can Weed Affect Pregnancy Test Results?


At this time, there has been no connection established as to how marijuana can affect pregnancy test results. If you smoke marijuana and have a positive pregnancy test, assume that you are pregnant. It is doubtful that you have received a false positive pregnancy test result. If you do get pregnant, you should stop using it for the health of your growing fetus.


Can Smoking Weed Affect Your Pregnancy?


There is no safe amount of marijuana to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. In addition to how the chemicals in marijuana can impact your unborn baby, smoking weed can lead to preterm labor, lower birth weight, and increase the risk of stillbirth. 


For best results and peace of mind, marijuana, like all drugs, should be avoided in pregnancy for the same reasons that no medication should be used in pregnancy without your doctor's knowledge.


Does Smoking Marijuana While Pregnant Harm My Baby?


In addition to birth-related side effects that are possible, studies have shown that children whose mothers used weed while pregnant can end up with executive functioning issues. This can cause behavior and learning difficulties as your child grows.  


Marijuana users often use other drugs, including alcohol, and it can be challenging to separate the effects of weed from those of other substances. Some scientific studies find that marijuana-exposed babies have physical manifestations of that exposure. The babies respond differently to visual stimulation, have increased tremors, and have a high-pitched cry. These symptoms suggest a problem with nervous system development. 


During pre and early-school years, children born of marijuana-exposed women have also been reported to have more behavioral problems and difficulties with sustained attention and memory than non-exposed children.


Marijuana and Breastfeeding

When a nursing mother uses marijuana, some THC is passed to the baby in her breast milk. This is a concern since the THC in the mother's milk is much more concentrated than that in the mother's blood.


One study has shown that using marijuana by a mother during the first month of breastfeeding can impair the infant's motor development (control of muscle movement).


Remember that marijuana contains many chemical substances, many of which have not yet been identified. There is no doubt that many of these can be potentially hazardous to mothers and babies alike since they are brain-altering chemicals.


If you are trying to get pregnant or have small children, it is probably best to avoid smoking or coming in contact with marijuana smoke.  


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