Survey Finds Increase in Number of Pregnant Women Using Marijuana

Survey Finds Increase in Number of Pregnant Women Using Marijuana
A recent federal survey finds almost 4 percent of pregnant women said they had used marijuana in the past month in 2014, up from 2.4 percent in 2002. Pregnant women who use marijuana often assume the drug has no effect on developing infants, The New York Times reports. But preliminary research suggests the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, THC, can cross the placenta and reach the fetus, experts tell the newspaper. This has the potential to harm brain development, cognition and birth weight. THC can also appear in breast milk, the article notes. “There is an increased perception of the safety of cannabis use, even in pregnancy, without data to say it’s actually safe,” said Dr. Torri Metz, an obstetrician at Denver Health Medical Center who specializes in high-risk pregnancies. She says 10 percent of her patients admit they recently used marijuana.
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House Approves Improving Treatment for Pregnant/Postpartum Women Act

House Approves Improving Treatment for Pregnant/Postpartum Women Act
On May 11th, the full House of Representatives considered and passed H.R. 3691, the Improving Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women Act. The bill was authored by Rep. Luján (D-NM). Original co-sponsors include Reps. Tonko (D-NY), Matsui (D-CA) and Cardenas (D-CA). Other co-sponsors included Reps. Pascrell (D-NJ), Ryan (D-OH), Schakowsky (D-IL), Kennedy (D-MA), Payne (D-NJ), Young (R-AK), Noem (R-SD), Turner (R-OH), Norton (D-DC), Slaughter (D-NY) and others. Reauthorization of the “PPW” Program: The Improving Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women Act would reauthorize the residential services for pregnant and postpartum women grant program (PPW) within the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT). This important program supports family-centered substance use disorder services – including services for opioid use disorders – for women along with services for their young children in residential settings. Creation of Pilot Program for State Substance Abuse Agencies: The bill would...
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CDC Says Its Warning About Drinking and Pregnancy is Valid

CDC Says Its Warning About Drinking and Pregnancy is Valid
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said its recommendation that sexually active women should not drink alcohol if they are not using birth control is valid, despite criticism from many women. The New York Times reports the advice was viewed by some women as insulting and impractical. “We weren’t as clear as we had hoped to be,” acknowledged Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director of the CDC. The recommendation is aimed at preventing fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. The CDC estimates that 3.3 million women ages 15 to 44 who drink alcohol and do not use birth control risk exposing their babies to the disorders, the article notes. The CDC report advises women who intend to get pregnant, or who could get pregnant, not to drink alcohol. The report notes about half of pregnancies in the United States are unplanned. Most women do not realize they are pregnant until four to...
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No Amount of Alcohol Is Safe for Expecting Moms

No Amount of Alcohol Is Safe for Expecting Moms
The American Academy of Pediatrics stated that no amount of alcohol should be viewed as safe throughout pregnancy and called exposure to prenatal alcohol the leading preventable cause of birth defects and intellectual disabilities in children, Today.com reports. In a report published in the journal Pediatrics, the Academy underscored that drinking during pregnancy can lead to fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), a group of conditions that can occur in a child whose mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy and that drinking-related birth defects and developmental disabilities are avoidable through abstentions. The Academy noted that prenatal alcohol exposure is linked to higher incidences of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and learning disabilities, such as problems with math and language, memory skills and impulse control. Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders are also linked to numerous conditions that can include physical, emotional, behavioral and learning problems and can range from mild to severe. The most serious type, fetal alcohol...
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