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Julie Dohr MDby Julie Dohr, MD

With the legalization of Marijuana in many states, there has been an increase in patients reporting cannabis use during their pregnancy. What are the risks? How much do we know?

Cannabis use is associated with an increased risk of premature delivery and can negatively affect the baby’s growth. Placental abruption, where the placenta separates too early, is more common with cannabis use. Also, when the baby is born, there is a greater chance of the baby needing to go the intensive care unit.

Cannabis does cross the placenta and may affect the baby’s brain. Long term follow-up shows that children who are exposed to cannabis have decreased visual acuity, and worse short-term memory, as well as an increased risk of attention and behavioral problems.

It is also important to know that marijuana products are untested, and may be contaminated with heavy metals, pesticides, and toxins that may be harmful to the baby and to you.

We recommend that you avoid cannabis products in pregnancy, just like you would avoid alcohol and cigarettes. The goal is a healthy baby and a healthy mom