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Everybody says weed is good for the baby: Beliefs and attitudes regarding perinatal marijuana use from the perspectives of pregnant women who report continued.

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Presentation on theme: "Everybody says weed is good for the baby: Beliefs and attitudes regarding perinatal marijuana use from the perspectives of pregnant women who report continued."— Presentation transcript:

1 Everybody says weed is good for the baby: Beliefs and attitudes regarding perinatal marijuana use from the perspectives of pregnant women who report continued use. Chang JC, Tarr JA, Holland CL, Rodriguez KL, Sheeder J, Kraemer K, Day N, Rubio D, Arnold RM University of Pittsburgh Study Funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) R01DA SI

2 Background Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug during pregnancy in the United States. Two states have recently legalized recreational marijuana use (Colorado & Washington) In 11 states, 50% residents support legalizing marijuana Limited information is known about women’s attitudes & concerns about perinatal marijuana use

3 Objectives To describe what pregnant women who use marijuana think about marijuana use during pregnancy, their reasons for use, and their concerns for potential consequences.

4 Study Setting Hospital-based clinic in an urban academic medical center Marijuana use is currently illegal in Pennsylvania

5 Methods Semi-structured interviews with pregnant women who used marijuana to explore: Use prior to pregnancy compared to use during pregnancy Reasons and concerns about use during pregnancy

6 Participant Characteristics 17 women Age: years; Mean 27 65% African American 18% Caucasian 17% Other 47% high school graduates 23% some college education 18%grade school 12% associates degree

7 Participant Characteristics 47% Income level <$4,999/year Gravida mean=3.2 ± 1.9; Range: Para mean=1.2 ± 1.6); Range: 0 - 5

8 Marijuana is “natural” Helps with nausea and appetite Decreased use during pregnancy Limited information about risks Primary perceived risk is child protective services Themes

9 Marijuana is “natural” I consider crack cocaine, you shouldn’t do that. But marijuana, you can actually grow that…. It is just like, it is from the earth. I don ’ t want to sound like a hippie, but it is from the earth.

10 Helps with nausea and appetite …I don’t want to smoke marijuana but it helps me not being sick ….

11 Decreased use during pregnancy I was a heavy smoker then, but when I found out I was pregnant, now, it is just like…I might take two puffs, and then I give it up…I used to smoke sssshhh like 5-6 blunts a day….

12 Limited information There’s so much conflicting research. Like you’ll go on different sites and they say, pros and the cons. So it pretty much evens out so nobody really knows. But if there was more research…. I never once, I could not tell you one thing that happens to you when you smoke marijuana while your pregnant…. I mean I know what cigarettes and alcohol does….

13 Concerns for potential consequences reported/CYF She didn’t leave no punches. She said you’re going have to quit smoking because when…you have your baby and they test you and your baby, if you come back positive CYF [Child Youth and Families services] will be right there.

14 Conclusions Although our study participants viewed marijuana as natural and helpful with pregnancy symptoms, they did describe reducing use and wanting more information about risks. The primary negative consequence of perinatal marijuana use perceived by the women was the involvement of child protective services.

15 Limitations Majority subjects African American Pennsylvania is a non-legal state Perspectives only from pregnant women who use marijuana

16 Practice Implications Counseling discussions regarding perinatal marijuana use need to include medical & health information and resources, rather than relying on legal threats or child custody concerns.

17 Need more research [I told my friends] “I’m doing a research study.” They were like, ‘You are so stupid. You are going to get in trouble.” I’m like, “No I’m not… I’m helping. I’m helping them learn.” It is just like everyone tries to say, it is just bad. It is going to hurt the baby. So, I want to see what happens. I want to know….


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