(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

RCMP searching for missing Lax Kw’alaams resident

Public urged to help in search for 42-year-old Lawrence Maitland

Coast Tsimshian sign historic stewardship agreement

Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla plan to work as one to preserve traditional lands

Northern Escape Heli Skiing makes way for its first resort lodge in Terrace area

Expected to increase tourism, provide more employment

Pacific Northern Gas moves to reinstate full capacity and expand pipeline

Increased supply and demand could mean lower rates for North Coast customers, PNG says

Terrace Industrial Park build-out continues

Containerized LNG, forestry among potential manufactured goods

3 dead, 2 missing in northern B.C: Here’s what we know so far

Lucas Fowler, 23, and his girlfriend, Chynna Deese, were shot and killed on July 14 or 15

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Two brands of ice cream sandwiches recalled due to presence of metal

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall on Iceberg and Originale Augustin brands

Most Read