Finding accurate and up-to-date health information, especially when you are pregnant or are a new parent, is challenging. Everyone seems to have advice. One area of debate is cannabis use. There is no shortage of information on the internet that promotes its use as a harmless, natural way to treat morning sickness or anxiety. But the internet is often not the most reliable source for health information.
Targeted, Science-Based, Convenient Education
Recent New Hampshire (NH) legislation requires science-based consumer education at the seven existing therapeutic cannabis dispensary locations operated by the state-licensed Alternative Treatment Centers (ATCs). These ATCs now have information they can share with pregnant people and new parents about the risks associated with cannabis during this phase of their lives.
The material suggests the safest choice may be to avoid all types of cannabis while pregnant, planning a pregnancy, and during breastfeeding/chestfeeding or pumping. It also encourages individuals to talk with their healthcare providers about all the substances, medications, and supplements they use.
By speaking with your healthcare provider, you may be able to find safer options. Often your doctor can help you find a different medication or other product or approach that is effective for your symptoms with a lower risk of adverse effects for your baby. If you have been certified for therapeutic cannabis use, it is possible you may still need to use cannabis if there is no better alternative. This is a decision you should make together with your healthcare provider.
A Community Effort
The educational materials at the ATC dispensaries are made possible through a successful collaboration between the NH Therapeutic Cannabis Program (part of the NH Division of Public Health Services, NH Department of Health and Human Services), the Therapeutic Cannabis Medical Oversight Board (TCMOB), and community partners, including the Center for Excellence on Addiction/JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. (JSI) and the state-licensed ATCs.
With funding from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, JSI Health Communications worked with the NH Therapeutic Cannabis Program, medical experts from the TCMOB, and the NH Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Other Drugs, to create material and messaging to meet the needs of healthcare professionals and therapeutic cannabis patients.
By increasing access to information, we may reduce problems associated with early learning, social-emotional development, physical and mental health challenges, and other health disparities.
Visit Today is For Me [TodayIsFor.me] to learn more about a healthy lifestyle addressing the risks of pregnancy and breastfeeding/chestfeeding or pumping with substance use.