Marijuana implicated in pre-term birth rate
NewsTalk ZB 3 May 2016
Family First Comment: “Auckland University professor of obstetrics and gynaecology, Lesley McCowan said it’s frowned upon to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol during pregnancy and marijuana should be thought of the same way.”
If Kiwi women stopped using marijuana while pregnant, the rate of pre-term births could drop by at least 200, according to a university professor.
A study of more than 5500 women between 15 and 20 weeks of pregnancy showed those who continuously used marijuana while expecting, had an increased risk of having a pre-term birth.
Auckland University professor of obstetrics and gynaecology, Lesley McCowan said that reduction would have widespread benefits.
“Which could have a huge impact on the individuals and also on health care costs and services and neonatal units.”
She said it’s frowned upon to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol during pregnancy and marijuana should be thought of the same way.
“We haven’t had specific messages around marijuana and we’ve now got some high-quality evidence that suggests that it is harmful.”
She said that information now needs to be shared with both health professionals and women.
Currently around 3000 spontaneous pre-term births occur in New Zealand each year.
Marijuana use during pregnancy increases pre-term births five-fold – Auckland Uni study
Stuff co.nz 2 May 2016
Mothers who use marijuana during pregnancy increase the chance of spontaneous pre-term birth, new research shows.
Study author Professor Lesley McCowan, a specialist in maternal fetal medicine at the University of Auckland, said women who continued to use marijuana at 20 weeks gestation were “five times more likely to deliver pre-term than those who do not use it”.
Research was conducted as part of an international birth study known as SCOPE (Screening for Pregnancy Endpoints) for which McGowan is the lead investigator in New Zealand.
The data showed increasing use of marijuana among young women during reproductive age may be a major public health concern in terms of early birth risk.
READ MORE: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/79527889/marijuana-use-during-pregnancy-increases-preterm-births-fivefold–auckland-uni-study