(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

Invasive crab spotted near Sooke

Fisheries need more data to know if numbers are increasing

Credit card frauds target local businesses: VicPD

Crime Reduction Unit investigating several frauds costing several businesses over $50,000

No treatment for highly infectious measles, says doctor

10 cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver as of Friday

Fatherhood draws Victoria man to publish Tsimshian colouring book for children

Leon McFadden is working on 11 more books to finish the horoscope series

Victoria shoppers fund Jubilee hospital cardiac monitoring

More than $40k raised over the holidays at Canadian Tire locations

National Energy Board approves Trans Mountain pipeline again

Next step includes cabinet voting on the controversial expansion

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying?

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Girl heard saying ‘Help my Dad’ in suspicious radio message on Vancouver Island

Police asking for help following mysterious signals from somewhere between Comox and Sayward

Two more measles cases confirmed in Vancouver

It brings the number of total cases within the city connected to the outbreak to ten

B.C. Special Olympics officially underway in Vernon

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Vancouver Aquarium wants your help to name a baby killer whale

The public helped name Springer’s first calf, Spirit, and is being asked to help with the second

Guards protest firing of fellow officers charged with assault at B.C. prison

Corrections officers demonstrated in Maple Ridge on Friday afternoon

Most Read