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The FDA Is Warning Pregnant Women To Stop Using Marijuana To Suppress Symptoms Like Morning Sickness

marilisa.racco 6 Nov 2019

Pregnancy can be as much a magical time as it can be a very difficult one. Many women report adverse symptoms during pregnancy, especially in the first trimester, like nausea and extreme fatigue. And since many are wary of taking chemical medications, they sometimes turn to what they perceive to be more natural remedies, like marijuana.

The rates of marijuana use in pregnancy has risen steadily.

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According to a research letter published in JAMA Pediatrics, the rates of pregnant women using marijuana have risen from 4.2 percent in 2009 to 7.1 percent 2014. Doctors estimate that the main reason pregnant women use marijuana is to suppress symptoms like morning sickness, which occurs in approximately 70 percent of pregnancies.

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However, doctors warn against using marijuana during pregnancy because we don't know the full extent of its effects.

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Researchers don't have enough information on marijuana's effects on a fetus to determine that it's safe to consume during pregnancy.

"What we know today is pretty sparse," Dr. Kjersti Aagard, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist and professor at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital, said to Insider. "When we've looked, there is evidence of harm...and we don't have the long term studies to really examine that carefully from a public health perspective."

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Some studies have linked marijuana use to dangerous effects like low birth weight and lower IQ.

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Some small studies have shown potentially damaging effects, however. One study out of Colorado found that women who reported using marijuana during pregnancy had a 50 percent chance of lower birth weights, while other studies have found a correlation with lower IQ rates and attention problems.

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The bottom line from doctors: Don't do it.

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These studies have prompted the Surgeon General to issue an official statement advising pregnant women to avoid marijuana.

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