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Baby your baby: Say no to marijuana

Look at that precious, new baby! Mom and Dad want to get it right, to protect this bundle of joy, this new generation of their family, the next generation to lead the family toward the future. They want to do everything with the child as it grows up. Travel, sports, music, literature, adventuring to see what life is like on the other side of the fence so he or she will understand how other people live. So many dreams and goals!

All of that starts when you begin to think of becoming pregnant. That is when you take all the steps you need to take care of Mom. And it is important that women who are trying to get pregnant, who are pregnant, or who are breastfeeding to say no to marijuana. Do you know that one in 20 women in the U.S. reports using marijuana while pregnant?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that the chemicals in any form of marijuana may be bad for your baby: eating, drinking, creams or lotions applied to the skin, smoking, vaping, and dabbing.

SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) reports that marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug during pregnancy in the U.S. and marijuana use is on the rise among all adult age groups, both sexes and pregnant women. “A growing number of pregnant women view it as a safe, natural way to treat nausea and vomiting, or ‘morning sickness.'”

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) speaks of a study of dispensaries of marijuana in the marketplace where non-medical personnel were recommending marijuana to pregnant women for nausea while medical experts advise not to use the practice

“No amount of marijuana has been proven safe for use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding,” SAMHSA advises.

Researchers at the University of California San Diego and Fudan University, Shanghai, China, looked at the records of 4.83 million California mother-infant pairs between 2001 and 2012. Of those, 20,237 of the mothers had been diagnosed with cannabis dependence or nondependent marijuana use.

“Babies born to frequent marijuana using mothers were six times more likely to be born prematurely, 13 percent more likely to have low birthweights, and 35 percent more likely to die within their first year of life,” write the authors of “The associations between prenatal cannabis use disorder and neonatal outcomes.” They go on to mention a study released in August 2020 “that found marijuana use during pregnancy increased the risk of autism in offspring …”

There are great concerns regarding the potential for neurological development. “In school, children exposed to marijuana are more likely to show gaps in problem-solving skills, memory and the ability to remain attentive,” according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. More research is needed.

In the meantime, parents have the important job of protecting that precious little one, before, during and after pregnancy, to give the child the best possible advantages for health and well-being during his or her lifetime. To learn more, visit online at www.samhsa.gov/marijuana.

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Family Recovery Center helps families to find ways to navigate through these challenging times. For more information about the agency’s treatment and education programs, contact FRC at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468, or email, info@familyrecovery.org. FRC is funded in part by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health and Recovery Services Board.

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