5. The Big Secret
That said, there is a secrecy within this group of women who decide to use marijuana to curb their illnesses. This could be attributed to the stigma around marijuana, especially when it comes to pregnancy. Additionally, a new study by Marist Poll said that only one in five Americans agree that it’s okay for pregnant women to use marijuana.
4. The Stigma Behind Weed
Vaughn believes that it’s simply a lack of information about this use of marijuana during pregnancy, which might cause additional stigma. “It’s one of those things where it is still so hush-hush, because you don’t want people to look at you like you put your child in danger. I was more nervous about the pharmaceuticals than I was about the marijuana.”
Click to slide 1 to read about the sudden risk Vaughn was hit with.
3. Some Medical Professionals Disagree
That said, there are some medical professionals that strongly disagree with the use of marijuana. According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, pregnant women are “encouraged to discontinue marijuana use.” It’s said that some offspring are hindered by the use, and can result in low birth weight and impaired neurodevelopment.
2. One Doctor Found The Study Reassuring
However, Dr. Shayna N. Conner from Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis has published a report of 31 cases where pregnant women used marijuana. Of the research, she concluded that there was, “not an independent risk factor for adverse neonatal outcomes after adjusting for confounding factors.” In the end, she called her study “reassuring” despite not being able to perform a randomized controlled trial.
1. The Unexpected Twist
While weighing the pros and cons of using marijuana might have been nerve wrecking for Vaughn, she said that the risk was taking an alternative route. “[it seemed like] less of a risk than the defects associated with the other pharmaceutical drugs. You had to do your research and decide which risk you were willing to take.”
As for Melissa Vaughn’s baby? She had a healthy baby boy. That said, there was a legal risk Vaughn hadn’t entertained until she arrived at the hospital. When she told her doctor that she used marijuana to curb her illness, he had to record the information in her file. When her baby boy was born his meconium was tested for levels of THC. Although the test came out negative she still had to visit social services.
Fortunately, all turned out well and it was worth it for Vaughn. “I was getting to the point where it was starting to get dire for him too. Marijuana’s what saved my pregnancy, basically.”