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Effects of Marijuana on Fetus

Marijuana use among pregnant women is on the rise. Among other things, it is touted as an all-natural morning sickness remedy and appetite enhancer. Unfortunately, there are many risks to using this, or any drug, during pregnancy. Before lighting up, every mother-to-be should consider the risks of using marijuana during pregnancy.

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Dangers of Smoking Marijuana While Pregnant

The affects of pot on the baby are obvious. The danger of preterm birth, low birth weight and poor development are frequently discussed. The risk to the mom, however, is not as widely known. The emotional side affects can increase the risk of anxiety, depression, paranoia and other feelings. Physically, marijuana can make her uncomfortably outside the moment during lsbor.

What are the Effects of Marijuana on a Fetus?

Marijuana has many effects on the developing fetus. First, carbon monoxide in the mother’s blood travels across the placenta, lowering the amount of oxygen in the baby’s blood. This results in low birth weight.

Marijuana can also damage the developing fetus’ brain, lungs and kidneys. The ability to focus, pay attention and solve problems can be permanently impaired. Long term problems often show up later in life.

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What Every Mother Should Know About Marijuana

The effects of marijuana last far beyond the last puff. Through breastfeeding, exposure to second-hand smoke or simply an impaired ability to parent, using marijuana effects the newborn in many ways. Many women have low milk supply when using marijuana. The other side effects are even scarier.

Women who use marijuana store THC in fat cells. When breastfeeding, those fat cells break down. This causes an influx of THC into the infants system. In fact, in women who smoke a moderate to heavy amount of marijuana, the level of THC in breast milk is eight times that of their blood.

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Marijuana, passed through breast milk, leads to babies who are sleepy. Sleepiness leads to poor weight gain and possibly developmental delays. These motor delays last long after the exposure ends.

Marijuana also changes the brain chemistry. It effects the way that DNA and RNA are synthesized. Amino acids, vital for brain development, are also impaired. The risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) also increases in women who smoke marijuana.

Thankfully, there is help. If you are pregnant and need help, a qualified addiction specialist can help you find the services you need.