By Kelly Young
Cannabis use during pregnancy has increased in recent years, suggests a study of Northern California women that was published in JAMA Network Open.
During 367,000 pregnancies, women answered questionnaires at roughly 8 weeks’ gestation and self-reported their cannabis use before and during their pregnancy.
From 2009 to 2017, the prevalence of reported cannabis use in the year before pregnancy increased from 7% to 13%, with the sharpest increase for daily use, from 1.2% to 3.1%. During this same time period, the prevalence of cannabis use during pregnancy increased from 2.0% to 3.4%.
The authors write: “Obstetric clinicians can play a key role in preventing harms associated with cannabis use in pregnancy by educating patients about the potential risks of frequent use, advising all patients who are pregnant to quit cannabis use, and providing patients with safe and effective medically approved ways to improve mood and treat nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.”
They continue: “Notably, the high prevalence of cannabis use during the year before pregnancy among those who self-report use during pregnancy (96%) suggests that educational and prevention efforts geared to reduce prenatal use should begin for women of reproductive age before they become pregnant.”