Marihuana during Early Pregnancy


Q: Dear Doctor, My wife is 7 weeks pregnant. So far all test indicate a healthy development of the foetus. However, my wife ,while still unaware of her pregnancy, smoked a small amout of Marihuana on two occasions, in week 1 and week 4 of pregnancy. Also she drank alcohol. My question is: what is the likelyhood of this having effects on the development of the foetus? And are there any additional tests to find out? Many thanks for your answer! P.S.: she stopped smoking and drinking completely when finding out she was pregnant, in week 7.


A:   Several studies demonstrated a small reduction in birth weight associated with use of marijuana during pregnancy though a single episode of smoking marijuana possesses lower risk. Taking alcohol in pregnancy may increase the risk of Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). This is a condition that results from prenatal alcohol exposure and could cause defects that are irreversible and can include serious physical, mental and behavioral problems, though they vary from one child to another.
Ultrasound and bloodwork may be felpful in detecting any anomalies caused due to marijuana and alcohol. I would suggest you to  take vitamins/minerals especially containing Folic acid which decrease when alcohol is consumed and is very important in the development of the central nervous system of your baby. I wish you a successful pregnancy.

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