Marijuana is a drug that comes from dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the cannabis plant which changes the way your brain works. People who are pregnant may believe that marijuana is safe to use during pregnancy compared to alcohol and other drugs. The truth is that nothing has proven that marijuana is safe to use during pregnancy and it is important to stop using it before your baby potentially suffers the negative consequences that can come of it.
Problems Caused by Marijuana Before Pregnancy
If you are thinking about having a baby, marijuana is a substance that should not be in your system. According to March of Dimes, marijuana can decrease the risks of getting pregnant. Marijuana can affect the hormones that your body needs to get pregnant. It can also affect your menstrual cycle where your ovaries release an egg every month as well as affect the man’s sperm count.
Problems Caused by Marijuana During Pregnancy
The THC from marijuana can pass through the placenta to your baby. The placenta is what gives your baby food and oxygen through the umbilical cord, making marijuana affect the brain of your baby. Your baby can end up having a premature birth where they are born earlier than 37 weeks of pregnancy. Your baby can also struggle to gain weight or be born with low weight as well as a small head. Your baby also has a chance of developing anencephaly where you miss major parts of the brain, skull, and scalp. Babies with this condition tend to die hours after birth. There is also the risk of anemia where your baby does not have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen as well as stillbirth. Once your baby is born, they may have to be admitted to Neonatal Intensive Care for withdrawal symptoms, sleeping problems, or behavioral issues.
THC can also be passed down to your baby through breast milk. This can increase the risks of your baby’s brain not being fully developed. Marijuana can impact the amount of breast milk you can create as well as the quality. Since your baby will depend on breast milk for the first couple of years of their life, it is important to make sure that anything you are giving your baby is safe. Your baby must always come first which means you need to abstain from marijuana and other drugs.
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