While it may be a good thing that fewer women are now smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol while pregnant, it may not be good that they are using marijuana instead.
According to a research letter that was published this week in JAMA Pediatrics, between the year 2002 and 2016, the percentage of pregnant women who reported smoking cigarettes while expecting fell significantly: from 17.5% to about 10%.
Alcohol use fell from almost 10% to around 8.5%. Marijuana use however moved from 3% to nearly 5%.
A National Survey of Drug Use and Health is responsible for this data which came from about 12,000 pregnant women ages 18 to 44 who responded to the survey between 2002 and 2016. Around 3,500 of these women were in their first trimester of pregnancy.
The authors of the paper have written, “Greater public awareness regarding the consequences of prenatal cannabis exposure in offspring health is necessary.”