Monday, June 13, 2016

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment launched an educational campaign about the risks of using marijuana during pregnancy and while breastfeeding

A 2014 health department report concludes there is no safe level of marijuana use for pregnant and breastfeeding women or their babies.

“Women have a lot of choices to make when they become pregnant,” said Dr. Tista Ghosh, deputy chief medical officer. “We encourage them to talk to their health care providers and use our new resources to make the healthiest choices for themselves and their babies.”

The campaign for pregnant and breastfeeding women is part of the state’s Good To Know Colorado campaign, which was launched in 2014 to educate Coloradans about the safe and responsible use of retail marijuana. The campaign continues the Good to Know approach of using direct messages and images to engage Coloradans in the state’s ongoing conversation about marijuana. The new campaign uses social media, online resources, health care providers and community groups to reach pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Campaign information is based on “Monitoring the Health Concerns Related to Marijuana in Colorado: 2014,” a report developed by Colorado’s Retail Marijuana Public Health Advisory Committee. According to the report:

There is no known safe amount of marijuana use while pregnant or breastfeeding.
Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the chemical that creates the marijuana “high,” is passed from mother to baby during pregnancy and breastfeeding whether it is smoked, vaped or eaten.

Exposure to THC in the womb may affect a baby’s brain development.

THC stays in breast milk much longer than alcohol does, so "pumping and dumping" doesn't work.

Because THC is stored in body fat, it stays in the mother’s and baby’s bodies for a long time.

Secondhand marijuana smoke has many of the same chemicals as tobacco smoke and is unhealthy for both mother and baby.

The state legislature appropriated $3.5 million from the state’s retail marijuana tax revenue for July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016 to fund the health department’s Retail Marijuana Education Program. Funding supports the new campaign for pregnant and breastfeeding women, youth prevention efforts, the Spanish-language campaign Marihuana En Colorado, Lo Que Debes Entender and the ongoing Good to Know educational campaign.

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