Arizona study finds cannabis use for pregnant women can cause complications

Apr 8, 2016, 5:45 AM
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PHOENIX — Pregnant women and pot do not mix, according to a recent study from the Arizona Department of Health Services and the University of Arizona.

Dr. Cara Christ, director of Arizona Department of Health Services, said review of current data found that cannabis use by pregnant women often led to complications with the baby.

“There is a higher likelihood for the babies of moms who used cannabis during pregnancy to be underweight, which can cause developmental problems later on,” she said, “(The babies) also have an increased risk of being placed in a neo-natal intensive care unit.”

Any form of substance abuse, including those with drugs, alcohol or tobacco, can potentially harm a fetus, Christ said, which could have long-term effects on the baby.

“We know that there’s a potential for anything that a pregnant woman takes to cross the placenta and have impact on her fetus and potentially cause health outcomes once the baby is born,” she said.

Even though she admits there needs to be more research, Christ said it is very important for moms to be in good health before conception.

“Our goal is to make sure that we have healthy babies born in Arizona,” she said. “The best way to do that is to be healthy before you get pregnant, make sure you’re taking a prenatal vitamin and avoiding alcohol, drugs and tobacco.”

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Arizona study finds cannabis use for pregnant women can cause complications