(Unsplash)

One-third of pregnant women think cannabis won’t harm their baby: UBC

Review of six U.S. studies found doctors didn’t communicate health risks of pot use

One-third of pregnant women don’t believe cannabis could harm their baby, despite studies showing a higher chance of anemia, low birth weight and even stillbirth.

The findings come from a review published by University of B.C. researchers in the February edition of Preventative Medicine.

Researchers looked at six U.S. studies and found some women think because doctors don’t outright tell them about the risks of pot use while pregnant, there is no danger to using it.

The review was conducted because more and more jurisdictions have legalized cannabis use, including Canada and several states such as Oregon, Colorado and Washington, with Mexico also moving to legalize it in the coming months.

“Our research suggests that, over the past decade, more women seem to be using cannabis during pregnancy than ever before, even though evidence of its safety is limited and conflicting,” said lead author Hamideh Bayrampour, assistant professor in the UBC department of family practice and affiliate investigator at BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute.

“It’s becoming increasingly important for public health officials to understand perceptions of cannabis use and to increase awareness of the health concerns around its use, especially for pregnant women.”

VIDEO: Thousands drawn to industry day at Vancouver cannabis expo

In one study, 70 per cent of cannabis-using women thought there was no danger to using cannabis while pregnant.

When women were asked what substances were most likely to hurt the baby, 70 per cent chose alcohol and 16 per cent chose tobacco, while only two per cent chose pot.

One study of 306 pregnant women found one-third of them continue to use cannabis after finding out they were pregnant, often to treat nausea.

Rates of cannabis use did decline throughout pregnancy, with 7.4 per cent of women using it in the first trimester but only 1.8 per cent using it in the last trimester.

READ MORE: Average price of cannabis in Canada goes up 17% post-legalization

“One of our review findings revealed that some people don’t consider cannabis to be a drug,” said Bayrampour.

“With this in mind, it’s especially important for health care providers to ask specific questions about cannabis use during pregnancy and breastfeeding to help spark a productive conversation about the potential health impacts and to help support women in their decision to reduce use and quit.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Small Glories grace former Vernon roost

Band grows from small beginnings to big glory

Meet Vernon Special Olympics hometown heroes

Eight athletes from Vernon will participate in the games

Vernon rolls out four days of films

2019 Spring Film Festival runs Feb. 25-28

Home loss ends Vernon Vipers’ long weekend win streak

The Vernon Vipers ended the three games in three nights weekend with two wins, one loss

Vagina Monologues help Vernon women and children escape violence

V-Day 2019 fundraiser Feb. 28 benefits Transition House

A Mother’s Wish: Ryan Shtuka’s mother wants her son to be ‘forever known’

‍‍‍‍‍“Let me tell you a story …. it all began with a boy named Ryan”

B.C. father and sons launch new trunk-sharing system, ‘Trunkit’

Smiths say peer-to-peer shipping service offers an affordable, green alternative

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Salmon Arm’s Laura Hall on bronze-winning skating squad

Hall’s team placed third in long track team pursuit at the Canada Winter Games

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

Review: Joie de Vivre a celebration of homegrown talent

The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra concert featured Ernst Schneider

Bashful Balladeers bring voices to Vernon

Despite hiding behind masks, talent shines with this group

Most Read