New study reveals more pregnant women are using marijuana

Japan babies crawling

Among teen mothers under age 18, marijuana use during pregnancy surged from about 13 percent in 2009 to nearly 22 percent in 2016, researchers found. Cannabis use in pregnant teens under 18 increased from 12.5 percent to 21.8 percent, while use in women 18 to 24 increased from 9.8 percent to 19 percent.

A growing number of pregnant women are using marijuana, and the habit is expanding fastest among teens and young adults, a US study suggests.

The research published Tuesday involved only certain women in California, according to CNN.

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But data on the actual effects of using marijuana during pregnancy is still unclear. A total of 3.3 percent of women older than 34 also reported to using the drug during their pregnancy in 2016, an increase from 2.1 percent in 2009. The women were treated at Kaiser Permanente facilities that had screening for marijuana use as part of standard prenatal care.

Worryingly, if women are not reporting their marijuana use in their medical records, their doctors are unable to counsel them about the risks of using marijuana, or what alternative reliefs for symptoms like nausea might be available.

One expert said the rise may be attributed to the increased availability of legal marijuana in recent years.

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"Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug during pregnancy, and its use is increasing", the study said. "So I think the idea that use is rising is just because of the greater legal exposure to marijuana that women have today versus 20 years ago".

Kelly Young-Wolff, the study's lead researcher and Dr. Nancy Goler said their study shows how marijuana might potentially harm an unborn child.

Guidelines in the United Kingdom also note that if you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, the safest approach would be not to drink alcohol at all.

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"Then there's the other group who take a more pragmatic view of pregnancy".

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