The number of women who said they used marijuana during their pregnancy has nearly doubled in the last decade, according to research published in JAMA Pediatrics.
Data from the U.S. National Survey of Drug Use reveals the number of women smoking pot during pregnancy has risen from 2.85 percent to nearly 5 percent between 2002 and 2016. What’s even more alarming, of the 12,000 women surveyed, nearly 3,500 said they used marijuana during their first trimester of pregnancy—a critical time for baby’s development.
While we aren’t entirely sure of the exact ramifications pot can have on babies just yet, the researchers call on mothers to avoid the drug while they are pregnant.
They’re not alone in their stance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention previously warned expecting moms against smoking marijuana, explaining the active chemical in the drug can harm baby’s development. Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends women steer clear of marijuana altogether while pregnant or nursing.
Although the new paper didn't pinpoint why we are seeing these substance use trends, the uptick in cannabis use may have to do with the recent relaxed marijuana laws. Medical marijuana is now legal in the majority of US states, while recreational marijuana use is legal in nine states.
To help you have a safe pregnancy, be sure to avoid a few other foods, drinks and activities while you wait for baby’s arrival.