Marijuana Use During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Implications for Neonatal and Childhood Outcomes

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Sheryl A. Ryan, Seth D. Ammerman, Mary E. O’Connor, COMMITTEE ON SUBSTANCE USE AND PREVENTION, SECTION ON BREASTFEEDING

Abstract

Marijuana is one of the most widely used substances during pregnancy in the United States. Emerging data on the ability of cannabinoids to cross the placenta and affect the development of the fetus raise concerns about both pregnancy outcomes and long-term consequences for the infant or child. Social media is used to tout the use of marijuana for severe nausea associated with pregnancy. Concerns have also been raised about marijuana use by breastfeeding mothers. With this clinical report, we provide data on the current rates of marijuana use among pregnant and lactating women, discuss what is known about the effects of marijuana on fetal development and later neurodevelopmental and behavioral outcomes, and address implications for education and policy.

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