Smoking marijuana during your pregnancy may put your baby at high risk of being born with a low birth weight as well as influencing behaviour problems, finds new research.
The findings, published in the journal Child Development, suggests that prenatal marijuana use can have consequences on infant’s weight and can influence behaviour problems, especially when combined with tobacco use.
The researchers found that infants who had been exposed to both tobacco and marijuana, especially into the third trimester, were smaller in length, weight and head size.
They were more likely to be born earlier, compared to babies who were not exposed to anything, the researcher said.
“We also found that lower birth weight and size predicted a baby’s behaviour in later infancy,” said co-author Rina Das Eiden from the University at Buffalo in New York.
“Babies who were smaller were reported by their mothers to be more irritable, more easily frustrated and had greater difficulty calming themselves when frustrated. Thus, there was an indirect association between co-exposure to tobacco and marijuana and infant behaviour via poor growth at delivery,” Eiden added.
For the study, the researchers recruited nearly 250 infants and their mothers. Of these, 173 of the infants had been exposed to tobacco or marijuana during their mothers’ pregnancies. None were exposed to significant amounts of alcohol.