Study finds more pregnant women are using marijuana - | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Study finds more pregnant women are using marijuana

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According to a new Kaiser Permanente study, pregnant women are smoking more pot in recent years.

The study looked at women in Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California healthcare system who self-reported marijuana use while pregnant between 2009 and 2016 and also underwent urine testing. The study found that between those years, marijuana use among pregnant women rose from 4.2 percent to 7.1 percent. However, the biggest jump was seen in moms younger than 24. 19% of women between ages 18 and 24 and 22% of teen moms screened positive for marijuana at 8 weeks pregnant.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, marijuana use by pregnant women can lead to health problems in infants such as low birth weight and developmental issues.

However, since marijuana is federally prohibited, there is little research that shows how marijuana affects fetal development during pregnancy or its effect on women and babies during breastfeeding.

It's also important to note the study’s authors said toxicology results showed higher levels of marijuana than women disclosed in the survey, indicating women were under-reporting their marijuana use. Since many studies rely on participants to report their own drug use, the study’s authors said this leaves “the scope of the problem unclear.”

The study reflects what seems to be a national trend among pregnant women. A research letter published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that marijuana usages before pregnancy have increased dramatically in recent years and also increased slightly during pregnancy.

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