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Marijuana and Morning Sickness

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Guest blogger Jessica Katz: I am one of those unfortunate people who get sick -- very sick -- when pregnant. It's not morning sickness, it's 24-hours-a-day sickness. From the first moment I saw the plus sign until I was in the delivery room, I spent my whole first pregnancy puking.

marijuana
I broke down time after time. I had never felt this ill in my life. I was on Zofran (a prescription anti-nausea drug), drank ginger tea and wore wristbands for seasickness. None of those things worked. In fact, I didn't even gain a pound until I was six months along. After three months of puking had passed, my doctor told me, "The good news is that by nine months, it will all be over." But I felt like dying.

So when people asked me when I would have another baby, it seemed like an impossibility. I was terrified that I would be sick again. When I told my OB, "I hear that every pregnancy is different; perhaps I won't get sick this time," he laughed out loud. I knew the odds were that I would be sick again. And sure enough, I am.

Even though I am taking Zofran again, I am deathly ill. Now, I know that while you're pregnant you are supposed to limit caffeine, stop eating sushi and nitrates and not even touch Excedrin. So you can imagine my surprise when my doctor suggested marijuana as a treatment for morning sickness. I was floored. I am pretty sure that you are not supposed to do drugs in general, let alone when you are carrying a child. Don't they take your kids away from you if you do drugs while you are pregnant?

I went home and Googled this remedy. Could it be real? I found page after page of moms saying they'd used medical marijuana to treat their severe morning sickness, and that it had worked. However, experts say that smoking marijuana during pregnancy may affect your baby's growth and the development of his nervous system. Studies have shown that children who are exposed to marijuana during pregnancy sometimes have problems focusing their attention and solving problems. Children of heavy pot users may also have problems with short-term memory, concentration and judgment.

My father used medical marijuana during his chemotherapy, and it worked like a charm. Meanwhile, I am only a few months along -- and getting sicker by the day. I am desperate for a cure. Even so, I have decided not to try marijuana as a treatment for my nausea. I am fairly openminded, but not when it comes to pot and pregnancy.

Moms, what do you think?


next: A Chat with Michelle "Bombshell" McGee
61 comments so far | Post a comment now
Heather November 20, 2010, 6:34 AM

I was EXTREMELY I’ll during my first pregnancy. I’m a very small framed person and lost over 20 lbs in the first trimester alone. I vomited at least 4x an hour when I was awake for 9 months. I took zero meds, used homeopathic remedies and snacked on PB and crackers like nobody’s business all day.
I think that the well-being of your unborn child trumps your comfort. Marijuana, medical or not, just has too many risks that could lead to heartache for your child at birth or later on in life.

Holly November 20, 2010, 9:15 AM

During my first pregnancy I was hospitalized repeatedly for dehydration due to severe hyperemesis. So I can empathize with what you’re going through. Zofran didn’t work. Seabands didn’t work. Nothing worked. But I was so sick that I told my husband it was a good thing we didn’t own a gun and, at that point, I wasn’t kidding. It felt like I was being tortured everyday. I couldn’t sleep. I’d never even imagined someone could be that sick, let alone experienced it. Did I eventually breakdown and try marijuana? You bet. Did it work? Yes. Do I feel guilty about it? Not a single bit. How are my kids? They have performed above average on all academic measures thus far and have no problems focusing. :)

Sarah November 20, 2010, 10:43 AM

I just wanted to let you know that marijuana may make your child have a hard time focusing and all of that, but there is a HUGE possibility that your kid will have ADD anyways. Its not like it is that far off to smoke for nausea… Children are BORN w/ ADD everyday, and a little pot is not going to hurt. Like you said HEAVY pot users, you would not be a heavy smoker if you did it once a day or a week in order to feel a little better. As women we put our body through a lot of stuff. Suffering when there is a child inside of you is not good. If you cannot feed your child, because your puking means you are not giving it nutrients, and they take children away from their parents for that too.

Christina November 21, 2010, 8:55 PM

I can’t imagine the marijuana could be any worse for an unborn child than Zofran.

Jessica November 30, 2010, 11:01 AM

I smoked marijuanna my entire pregnancy. I had a healthy 7 lb 11 oz boy who is extremely bright and very calm. He is 8 years old now, tests in the upper 75th percentile in school and has NEVER, yes NEVER thrown a temper tantrum in his entire life (even as a toddler). I still smoke a little weed after a long day of work, homework, dinner, bath and bed time for my son. Its my way to relax and calm myself for a good nights sleep.

momma of 6 November 30, 2010, 6:16 PM

I was the same way and actually miscarried my first 2 pregnancies, but by the third pregnany I had started smoking marijuana and actually didn’t know i was pregnant again until I was 11 weeks along. I smoked with all 6 of my children and they are fine and very intelligent. My oldest is 26 and just completed college not all that ago and is now surgical tech. at a very good hospital and I have 2 more in college now. My 18 year old also graduated high school with high honors and the other 2 are also doing very well in high school. And not to brag but my grandkids are also above average. So I say it’s all gotta be politics, why else would they legallize something like alcohol and let the pharmacuetical companies to make things like oxycotin and other highly addictive and deadly drugs? Enough with the testing! It’s been proven for centuries upon centuries already.

momma of 6 November 30, 2010, 6:28 PM

Oh yeah, and contrary to the beleifs of the non pot smokers, pot IS NOT addictive, at least not until the pharmacy companies get ahold of it and add other stuff to make it that way, kind of like what they do to tobacco! Also, if you don’t like to smoke, try eating it. Either by itself or try adding some to your cookie dough before you cook them, but do put them up where your kids can’t get at them. Also, certain strains of marijuana help some kids that are autistic with Amazing results.

mom of 7 December 1, 2010, 10:37 PM

I am a mother of 7 healthy, happy, smart,beautiful,children. I used marijuana during each and every pregnancy, it relieved me of my nausea and made for a much happier pregnancy. My children are all on the honor roll in school and have had zero side affects! Marijuana is much safer than prescription drugs. I would at least try it.

Lauryn December 23, 2010, 9:33 AM

The irritating part of this article is the blind acceptance of the arbitrary government decree that marijuana counts as “doing drugs,” but that other prescription medication does not. There is absolutely no rational reason for marijuana to be illegal, as it is not physically addictive (which “hard” drugs are, as well as nicotine); and cannot be overdosed on (which “hard” drugs can be, as well as alcohol). The only questionable issue during pregnancy is the smoke being inhaled, but based on the small amounts I’ve read that other severe nausea sufferers needed during pregnancy to relieve their symptoms, this would be minimal; and contraptions for removing the smoke, such as vaporizers, do exist.

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Your Health 123 January 11, 2011, 11:18 AM

I am interested in speaking with women about their use of medical marijuana for morning sickness and hear the benefits and effects. I work for a medical TV show and we are talking about this next week. Email: chelsea.wright@cbs.com

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Grammy March 11, 2011, 2:51 PM

I smoked a hit or two for unbearable morning sickness in my 1st pregnancy. She was an honor student, a well-organized leader, and now she’s working on her doctorate.

Anonymous March 11, 2011, 7:04 PM

I am usually not a person to give my story but if it helps someone then here goes, in 1981 I became pregnant with my first child and had the full 24/7 sickness I took the perscriptions for nausea which had unknown in the may cause birth defects so I opted out and decieded to smoke cannabis I still only gained 15 lbs during the 9 mo. but my daughter now 30 years of age with 3 children of her own 4point grade point average college graduate with art hanging in the Smithsonian…has never smoked a cigerette or done drugs of any kind. I belive that there is a plant for every purpose and God put them here for a reason.Education is freedom. I hope this helps.
PS i smoked everyday as needed.

Shar Valentine March 12, 2011, 9:41 AM

I have to agree with the scientific “facts” and they are that mj does no harm to the fetus in small amounts during pregnancy. I had morning sickness 24/7 and I had high Keytones in my urine meaning my baby was starving to death! I started to take maybe 2 tokes and it would relieve the sickness and enable me to eat real well and healthy.
I was that way with both my pregnancies and they both were tested and in the “Gifted program at school” because they both are in the top 2% of the 5% of the Gifted people. As far as their growth goes they grew just fine especially from mine and their father’s genetics combined.
Don’t starve the baby and remember what one nausea medicine did back in the day - caused birth defects!

Joe March 12, 2011, 4:57 PM

Woah! Those studies would happen to be *slanted* would they. I know tons of moms who have smoked while they were pregnant and their kids turned out fine. Marijuana is a hell of a lot and more effective than Zofran. Your body produces chemicals very similar to the chemicals in marijuana that bind to the same receptors and have a role in how your body manages pain, hunger, and perhaps other things. It should be said that endocannabinoids are not well understood. One study of 1000 mothers found that Alcohol greatly increases the risk of fetal death, that heroin has a moderate risk increase, cocaine has a minor risk increase and marijuana has a protective effect. In any case the stress from constant nausea and vomiting is SURELY more harmful to your baby than marijuana. Talk with your doctor more about this.

Clarissa Auten March 17, 2011, 5:28 PM

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Mother of 3 March 22, 2011, 10:35 PM

I have 3 healthy boys ages 16,10 and 9 mos old. I smoked different amounts of marijuana with each pregnancy. My oldest maintains a 4.0 gpa with devotion to basketball. My middle son well he is “gifted” his intelligence is off the charts. He does wear glasses but I don’t feel my marijuana use contributed to that. Obviously my last baby boy is yet to young but so far he has the best temperment and is ahead according to his pediatrician. No allergy issues…been fortunate with minimal flu n colds! I look at marijuana as a natural form of medicine so I guess it depends on your perspective and I have a physician recommendation for medicinal marijuana


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