(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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Thornhill’s future takes centre stage at June 2 public hearing

The current community plan was adopted in 1981

Class will look different at Coast Mountain College this September

The college is embracing a distributed learning model

City council considers easing food truck restriction

Food trucks limited to four hours public parking, may increase to six hours

VIDEO: Injured bald eagle rescued in B.C. First Nations community

Bird suspected injured in fight, whisked off to Coquitlam rehab

Facing changes together: your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Toronto Raptors’ Ujiri says conversations about racism can no longer be avoided

Thousands have protested Floyd’s death and repeated police killings of black men across the United States

‘I’m afraid’: Witnesses of wolf attack on senior near Prince Rupert worried about safety

Frank Russ shows where the unprovoked wolf attacked his father

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Protesters prepare to rally against racism in front of Vancouver Art Gallery

Rally is in response to the deaths of black Americans and a Toronto woman

Protesters rally against anti-black, Indigenous racism in Toronto

Police estimated the crowd to be between 3,500 and 4,000 and said there was no violence

Feds earmark $1.5M to support recovery of B.C., Indigenous tourism

B.C. money will be split between Vancouver Island and Indigenous tourism

Most Read