Everything Pregnancy

Now There's Proof: Smoking Pot in Pregnancy Is Really Bad for Your Baby

Though some pregnant women swear smoking pot relieves morning sickness, its potential harmful effects aren't worth the risk.

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Some moms swear that smoking pot during pregnancy helps ward off morning sickness. But while getting rid of that nasty side effect of expecting sounds pretty dope to us (pun intended), the use of marijuana is controversial to say the least.

Even if it does curtail nausea for the mom, what problems does it cause for the fetus? Now, researchers who recently analyzed 24 different studies detailing the effects of smoking weed during pregnancy on both moms and babies have found some pretty troubling links.

For starters, moms-to-be who toked up were 36 percent more likely to have anemia than those who didn't, and infants exposed to pot in utero were 77 percent more likely to be underweight at birth.

As if that wasn't reason enough to pass on that doobie, babies whose moms indulged in marijuana while preggers were also twice as likely to require a visit to the NICU.

Of course, some of the studies reviewed were observational, which makes it difficult for the researchers to draw a solid cause-and-effect relationship here. But the authors nevertheless concluded that "there does appear to be negative consequences associated with in utero exposure to cannabis."

"The data summarized here may be useful in guiding policy, practice, and future research on the benefits and harms associated with cannabis use during pregnancy," wrote study author Jayleen Gunn, Ph.D., who added that while the study results should be interpreted with caution until future studies are completed, "as the drug becomes more and more accepted and accessible, understanding it's effects on maternal and fetal health should be a global priority."

Which means if you're currently pregnant and looking for a way to curb morning sickness, you should talk to your doctor about methods that have been proven safe.

Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and a mom. Check out her website holleeactmanbecker.com for more, and follow her on Twitter at @holleewoodworld.