Pregnancy and Marijuana
When a pregnant mom smokes, vapes, or ingests marijuana, so does her baby. Marijuana passes through the placenta into a baby’s bloodstream. When babies are exposed to marijuana during pregnancy, they can test positive for the drug after they are born. Early studies suggest that marijuana use during pregnancy can harm a growing baby. Marijuana use during pregnancy could:
- Cause a baby to be born before his or her body and brain are ready. This could mean serious health problems at birth and throughout life.
- Change how a baby’s brain develops. These changes may cause life-long behavior problems like trouble paying attention or following rules.
- Lower a child’s IQ, cause problems with learning and memory, and make it harder for him or her to do well in school.
It’s never too late in a pregnancy to quit using marijuana.
See additional information at our website: https://srhd.org/weed-to-know-baby-you
Breastfeeding and Marijuana
Breastfeeding is a healthy and natural way to feed babies. Yet marijuana use while breastfeeding can be dangerous. This applies to marijuana in any form including smoking, vaping, or ingesting it. The active ingredient in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, can be stored in breast milk for up to 30 days and can affect the baby. THC also builds up in the fat and blood of both mom and baby. Marijuana use during breastfeeding is associated with these risks:
- Feeding problems, as THC can lower milk supply. It can also make a baby less willing to eat, which could lead to slow weight gain and growth.
- Some studies show that babies exposed to THC in breast milk may have an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
To give a baby the healthiest start in life, moms should avoid using any amount of marijuana while breastfeeding.
Parenting/Caregiving and Marijuana
Looking after infants and children requires concentration and attention – and sometimes quick reactions. Using marijuana – including smoking, vaping, or ingesting it – can affect a person’s ability to safely care for a baby or other children. This is because marijuana use decreases a person’s ability to concentrate, impairs judgement, and slows response time.
When it comes to parenting or caring for children, here are some other things about marijuana to keep in mind:
- Do not drive after using marijuana. Marijuana is unsafe for someone getting behind the wheel because it compromises judgment and affects other skills required for safe driving like alertness, concentration, coordination, and reaction time.
- Keep marijuana securely away from children and teens, such as in a locked cabinet or safe. Marijuana in bud form, edibles, and vaping oils are dangerous for children and can cause poisoning.
- Recreational marijuana use is unsafe, and illegal, for anyone under 21.
- Avoid using marijuana in any form when you are around children or teens.
- For some people, high doses of marijuana can cause psychosis or panic during intoxication, which could make it difficult to care for children or intervene in an emergency.
- Like tobacco, marijuana smoke irritates the throat and lungs. Additionally, research is still being conducted to determine if secondhand marijuana smoke is linked to cancer and lung disease.
Struggling with marijuana addiction? Call the Washington State Recovery Help Line: 866.789.1511