Marijuana

What you need to know
Pot and pregnancy don’t mix. Marijuana use can reduce fertility in both men and women, making it difficult to conceive. Marijuana use may slow the growth of the baby during pregnancy. It may also slightly increase the risk of premature delivery. Babies born too early are more likely to have health problems than babies born full term.

After birth, some babies who were regularly exposed to marijuana during pregnancy may have withdrawal-like symptoms. For example, they may cry a lot, tremble and have trouble sleeping.

Some studies suggest that children exposed to marijuana in the womb may have problems paying attention. But exposed children do not appear to have lower IQs.

What you can do
Stay away from marijuana before and during pregnancy. To help you stop smoking marijuana, try some of the ideas for quitting cigarettes. If you can’t give up the habit by yourself, ask your health care provider for help.

January 2008

 

Most common questions

Can I keep taking all my prescriptions during pregnancy?

It depends on the drug. Tell your prenatal care provider about any prescription drugs you take. Some drugs may be harmful to a growing baby. You may need to stop taking a drug or switch to a drug that's safer for your baby. Don't take anyone else's prescription drugs. And don't take any prescription drug unless your prenatal care provider knows about it.

I drank before I knew I was pregnant. Is my baby hurt?

It's unlikely that an occasional drink before you realized you were pregnant will harm your baby. But the baby's brain and other organs begin developing around the third week of pregnancy, so they could be affected by alcohol in these early weeks. The patterns of drinking that place a baby at greatest risk for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) are binge drinking and drinking seven or more drinks per week. However, FASDs can and do occur in babies of women who drink less. Because no amount of alcohol has been proven safe during pregnancy, a woman should stop drinking immediately if she even suspects she could be pregnant. And she should not drink alcohol if she is trying to become pregnant.

Is it OK to drink wine in my third trimester?

No amount of alcohol has been proven safe during pregnancy. To ensure your baby's health and safety, don't drink alcohol while you're pregnant. Alcohol includes beer, wine, wine coolers and liquor. If you need help to stop drinking alcohol, tell your health care provider.

©2013 March of Dimes Foundation. The March of Dimes is a non-profit organization recognized as tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3).