Use of Marijuana During Pregnancy Can Lead to Autism in Babies

The Ottawa Hospital carried out the most extensive every study, and the researchers have found that using marijuana during pregnancy will increase the risk of a child developing autism. The experts looked at more than half a million cases, and at least 2200 women admitted to using cannabis during pregnancy without mixing it in opioids or alcohol. Medical experts have opined that these findings should discourage would-be mothers from using cannabis during breastfeeding and pregnancy.

Earlier it had also been revealed that the use of cannabis during pregnancy leads to complexities like low birth weight, cognitive, and behavioral issues in children. The university carried out an extensive study, and it analyzed every birth in the State of Ontario, Canada, between 2007 and 2012—much before the drug got legal status in the country.

The study did not consider the type and the amount of marijuana the women had used during pregnancy. The researchers also did not know the frequency at which the women used marijuana. The researchers had tried hard to eliminate any confounding factors, although they could not show any “cause and effect” of using marijuana during pregnancy.

One of the most worrying factors is that legalization of the weed as the pregnant women would tend to think that it is okay to use the weed to treat any episodes of morning sickness. They seem to ignore that not enough research has been done to understand the long-term effects of the weed on the fetus.

There is a tendency among women to use marijuana to avoid taking anti-nausea pills, opioids, and anti-psychotic medications. However, it has been revealed that pain management is the most common reason why marijuana is used. The use of weed by pregnant women has increased in the last few decades. The maximum usage is in the 1st trimester and is often regarded as recreational rather than medicinal. The 1st trimester is essential for developing the fetus’s brain, so the use of marijuana during this period can be very damaging.

Any pregnant women using marijuana should discuss the issue with their family members or doctors. Sadly, such self-reporting is abysmally low in this part of the world at just 2 to 5%. Since there is enough information to understand the effects of marijuana on the baby during lactation and breastfeeding, it is best to avoid its use during this period altogether.