New mom says its okay to use cannabis while pregnant: Doctors weigh in

prenantCOLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KXRM) — Is using cannabis good or bad for pregnant women?

We tried to seek some answers.

As you can imagine, it’s a controversial topic that even some doctors disagree on.

While there aren’t hard statistics that show an increase of women using pot while pregnant, the director of the El Paso County Health Department said in 2013, two to 5 percent of women used cannabis during pregnancy.

With the legalization of marijuana in Colorado, she said that number is most likely going up, but does it even matter?

Chelsea Puig is a medical marijuana patient and during her most recent pregnancy she admits to using cannabis because she had severe, daylong nausea that brought her weight down to 85 pounds, but she didn’t jump straight to pot to fix the problem.

“I tried. I tried what the doctors had told me to do and it wasn’t working,” said Puig.

So instead of pharmaceuticals, she chose cannabis – and she said she’s not alone.

“There are large numbers of us. Most of us are closeted,” said Puig.

Dr. Chris Nevin-Woods said there are studies that show cannabis use during pregnancy can show impacts on kids later on down the line.

“You may not know that that fetus who was exposed is having cognitive, learning problems, attention problems, that their IQ is lower than it would have been if their mom had not used marijuana,” said Dr. Nevin-Woods.

Neurologist Dr. Malik Hasan disagrees.

“In modest or moderate quantities I think that there’s no evidence, so far, that is harmful. If anything the known effect of the cannabis is neural protective, so if anything it’s likely to be helpful through the birthing process for the fetus,” said Dr. Hasan.

Chelsea said she’s disappointed in the lack of research on this topic, so she’s just focused on her experience and the development of Sienna Mae.

“She knows how to operate the tablet and count and do memory games like that, board games, so I would say developmentally she’s where she should be. I’m a bit biased. Of course we all want to think our kids are amazing,” said Puig.

Dr. Nevin-Woods said in some rare cases where both mom and baby are in danger – and cannabis use is the only solution – the rewards might outweigh the risks.

While Dr. Hasan said cannabis presents no danger in the short or long term, he said it needs to be in moderation of one to three times a day.

He suggests staying away from highly concentrated THC that can be in edibles and hash oil, which is called shatter or wax.

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