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A Study In Jamaica, Does Smoking Marijuana During Pregnancy Make You An Unfit Mother?

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Cathy posted this 14 June 2019

I ran into a Jamaican study where a doctor ran a study on Jamaican moms who, while they were pregnant, smoked marijuana and moms who didn't. The results showed that there were no developmental differences, except at 30 days of age when the babies of users had more favourable scores on two clusters of the Brazelton Scales: autonomic stability and reflexes. In another website, I read that there are thousands of moms who chose cannabis during pregnancy or are the child of a cannabis using mom. The Cannvist Mom says, "I can say wholeheartedly say that if moms weren’t afraid of the interference of child protective services (over a plant) they would scream from the rooftops that they used cannabis during their pregnancies".Here are a few links about the studies and how Cannabis-using mothers feel about it. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8121737

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1957518

https://cannavistmom.wordpress.com/2017/04/21/that-one-jamaican-study/

So, is a mother who smokes marijuana an unfit mother? What do you guys think?

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Elena posted this 14 June 2019

Hmmm. I don't have a problem with others using it in general, but personally, I wouldn't do it. I don't hate it or people who do it, but I don't know enough about it to try it out while I'm pregnant. Also, I've heard that it can have negative effects on baby, although I obviously wouldn't know first hand.

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Mercedes posted this 14 June 2019

Personally, during the first few months of my pregnancy with my 1st child I did use marijuana for the nausea because it was way too intense. It was to the point where instead of gaining weight I was losing it and the pills that my obgyn prescribed me had no effect whatsoever. I talked to my obgyn about it and she told me to not feel guilty and that she wishes she could prescribe it for moms who have a terrible level of nausea like I did. She said she knew plenty of mothers who smoked marijuana and their babies turned out fine and healthy. She told me that if it's helping me eat and helping with my nausea then it's okay and that she would prefer that over pregnant mothers who smoke cigarettes. My baby girl came out perfectly healthy. This was my experience with it.

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Heather posted this 17 June 2019

My academic background involves assessing epidemiological studies like these. I currently don't have full access to read the full studies, but just from glancing at the abstracts, I think the evidence from these studies is insufficient to make a conclusion on the long term effects of marijuana on development. The sample sizes seem to small (they may be too small to detect a difference). It might not be appropriate to generalize the results to the entire population of pregnant women.

This doesn't mean that smoking marijuana is harmful. I'm just saying that I personally will take such papers with a pinch of salt until I see several long-term studies with consistent results. Or studies with very large sample sizes.

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emily posted this 17 June 2019

I agree with this. I'm taking a statistics class in grad school now, and I was imagining what my professor would say about these studies. I think she would say, this is interesting and probably warrants further study, but this is not enough data to make a real conclusion. The problem is that it's really hard to design a study about the effects of almost anything on fetal development, because it's unethical to purposely have pregnant patients exposed to something that we think could be harmful. So there are a million things that might be safe but we just don't know, and this is one of them. No judgement to anyone who used MJ while pregnant, I know that it can be a huge help for nausea and other symptoms, so you gotta do what you gotta do! 

My academic background involves assessing epidemiological studies like these. I currently don't have full access to read the full studies, but just from glancing at the abstracts, I think the evidence from these studies is insufficient to make a conclusion on the long term effects of marijuana on development. The sample sizes seem to small (they may be too small to detect a difference). It might not be appropriate to generalize the results to the entire population of pregnant women.

This doesn't mean that smoking marijuana is harmful. I'm just saying that I personally will take such papers with a pinch of salt until I see several long-term studies with consistent results. Or studies with very large sample sizes.

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Bridget posted this 17 June 2019

I think this is such an interesting thing because so much of what we do or don't do (or at least talk about doing) comes down to what we think other people will say.  Especially other people on the internet, it's ruthless out here ladies.

I personally wouldn't, nor would I drink red wine even thought it's fine to do so.  I know people who have done both while pregnant and their kids are completely healthy.  I ate a lot of mcdonalds and my kids are both fine lol but that's as controversial as I'm willing to be.

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Cathy posted this 17 June 2019

I have heard both positive and negative things about smoking marijuana while pregnant, so I can see what you mean and understand why you feel you wouldn't do it. It's a complicated topic. 😅 

Hmmm. I don't have a problem with others using it in general, but personally, I wouldn't do it. I don't hate it or people who do it, but I don't know enough about it to try it out while I'm pregnant. Also, I've heard that it can have negative effects on baby, although I obviously wouldn't know first hand.

Cathy posted this 17 June 2019

I've heard that marijuana helps with nausea. Thank you for being open and sharing your story. Not too many women who have done it are as upfront about such a controversial topic.

Personally, during the first few months of my pregnancy with my 1st child I did use marijuana for the nausea because it was way too intense. It was to the point where instead of gaining weight I was losing it and the pills that my obgyn prescribed me had no effect whatsoever. I talked to my obgyn about it and she told me to not feel guilty and that she wishes she could prescribe it for moms who have a terrible level of nausea like I did. She said she knew plenty of mothers who smoked marijuana and their babies turned out fine and healthy. She told me that if it's helping me eat and helping with my nausea then it's okay and that she would prefer that over pregnant mothers who smoke cigarettes. My baby girl came out perfectly healthy. This was my experience with it.

Cathy posted this 17 June 2019

I see what you're saying and you're right. This subject is more complex than this small study. 

My academic background involves assessing epidemiological studies like these. I currently don't have full access to read the full studies, but just from glancing at the abstracts, I think the evidence from these studies is insufficient to make a conclusion on the long term effects of marijuana on development. The sample sizes seem to small (they may be too small to detect a difference). It might not be appropriate to generalize the results to the entire population of pregnant women.

This doesn't mean that smoking marijuana is harmful. I'm just saying that I personally will take such papers with a pinch of salt until I see several long-term studies with consistent results. Or studies with very large sample sizes.

Olivia posted this 18 June 2019

This is interesting and I'll be curious to see if more research is done on this. I don't think this is enough data to draw a clear conclusion at this point.

Jill posted this 19 June 2019

To answer your question: no, I don't think that smoking marijuana necessarily makes someone an unfit parent. I also don't think these studies are solid enough to really say that it's definitely safe, there is so little research on this that it would be impossible to say that it's definitely not safe. I know that some people find it helpful for things like nausea and anxiety, which can be worse in pregnancy, so I think everyone has to just make the best decision they can with limited information. everything in moderation.

Milena posted this 20 June 2019

I didn't do it but my sister and best friend did while they were pregnant. My sister did it because of nausea and my friend because of stress. Their kids are fine. My sister's son is now 11 and healthy and my best friend's daughter is 6 and healthy. They felt like it really helped them, so even though I don't smoke at all, I'm not against mothers who do.

Dorine posted this 20 June 2019

I have personally never been pregnant but I wouldn't do it. If I had a baby I wouldn't want to risk any type substances making contact with him/her. My brother smokes it and he seems to have a real liking to it, but I'm asthmatic and I try to stay away from any thing that has to do with smoking or drugs. No offense to any moms, it's just my point of view.

Judy posted this 3 weeks ago

It's so hard to really pinpoint things like this to really say one way or the other. I just try to stick to the rule of everything in moderation. I don't think occasional use makes anyone an unfit mother. I personally haven't done it because I never lived in a state that it was legal, but now that I do I would consider it.

Brittany posted this 2 weeks ago

People are so tight about this. Anyone who judges people who smoke marijuana just doesn't know all of the things it helps with. They should do some research. It helps with nausea, it helps with stress, it helps your appetite, it helps with head aches. I didn't smoke marijuana when I was pregnant because I didn't have any of these problems, but I know someone who went to the hospital because their nausea was so bad. I would've done it if my nausea was that bad. Obviously cigarettes can lead to defects and terrible things so I would strongly recommend that you smoke out of something that has nothing to do with tobacco, such as a pipe or something. But you shouldn't let anyone judge you because people don't know anything about how you feel or whats best for you. 

Caroline posted this yesterday

I personally would not use it as I do not think there is enough solid information to convince me that there would be no harm done to the fetus.  And I was constantly nauseous for over 4 months so I get the feeling of wanting to try anything.  I wouldn't necessarily say someone using marijuana is unfit, but I would certainly question their judgment to be honest.  Also, wouldn't it be much safer for the baby to avoid smoking and ingest the marijuana in a different way?  There are so many other options...

Erin posted this yesterday

Not at all. Cannabis is extremely helpful during pregnancy. The biggest issue with it is DCS wanting to get involved, which is ridiculous over just weed.

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