Self Care

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Self Care During Pregnancy

It’s important that you make an extra effort to take care of your self and your body during pregnancy. Your pregnancy will benefit greatly from your personal attention to your health and body. It will also improve how you feel! Here is a list of how to keep you and your baby at your best.

This is not a substitute for the advice of your health care professional. If you think you may be pregnant, you can schedule a free pregnancy confirmation appointment with CompassCare.

  • Take prenatal vitamins with a meal.
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
  • Do not try to lose weight during your pregnancy.
  • Get plenty of calcium through foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt, and fortified juices.
  • Get plenty of iron. Meat is a good source of iron (see your doctor for other choices if you are a vegetarian).
  • Eat frequent small meals to help manage nausea, keeping something in your stomach at all times. Make sure to stay hydrated. Nausea usually subsides after the first trimester.
  • Avoid alcohol and try to quit smoking. The use of tobacco, alcohol and other illegal substances is strongly discouraged during pregnancy (see associated risks); contact your doctor to find out if any of your current prescription medications are a risk factor for your baby.
  • Get plenty of rest – naps can help.
  • Do not take any medications unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
  • Stress – External factors, such as an abusive relationship, can put your pregnancy at risk; seek professional assistance immediately, such as from the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

Is Marijuana Safe for Pregnant Women?

A recent survey of pregnant and non-pregnant women revealed that 70% of women believe there is little or no risk associated with using marijuana once or twice a week. In addition, upon review of data collected from 2007-2012, the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology determined that more than 1 in 10 women used marijuana over the course of their pregnancy. 1 But is pot really harmless?

With marijuana now legal for medicinal purposes in 23 states and recreational intent in 4, the US will likely continue to see a rise in the rate of marijuana use among its young adults. A study published by The Journal of Adolescent Health reported that substance use among teens is actually declining—with the exception of marijuana, which now exceeds even cigarette use among adolescents.2 In a separate study conducted by Michigan University, a full 1/3 of female college students used marijuana over the course of the 2013 academic school year.3

It’s well-documented that marijuana has adverse effects on the adult human nervous system, breathing and heart rate.4 The question then arises: Is marijuana safe for a pregnant woman’s developing baby?

Studies such as the one performed by the Neurological Research Institute at Texas Children’s Hospital’s to determine the effects of prenatal exposure to marijuana on the brain, show that “prenatally cannabis-exposed children display cognitive deficits, suggesting that maternal consumption has interfered with the proper maturation of the brain.”5 The National Institute on Drug Abuse indicates that “resulting challenges for the child may include problems with attention, memory, and problem-solving.”6 Long-term studies show that prenatal marijuana exposure goes on to effect child behavior problems in pre-teens, including increased hyperactivity, impulsivity, inattention symptoms, delinquency and externalization of problems.7

To learn more about your pregnancy options and factors impacting fetal development, contact us to schedule a free appointment.

Cindy P, BSN, RN

Medically Reviewed By:


1 Ko, Jean Y., Farr, Sherry L., Tong, Van T., Creanga, Andreea A., Callaghan, William M., (2015). Prevalence and patterns of marijuana use among pregnant and nonpregnant women of reproductive age. Am J Obstet Gynecol; 213(2): 201.

2 Lanza, S.T., Vasilenko, S.A., Dziak, J.J., Butera, N.M., (2015). Trends Among U.S. High School Seniors in Recent Marijauna Use and Associations With Other Substances: 1976-2013. J Adolesc Health; 57(2): 198-204.

3 Johnston, L., O’Malley, P., Bachman, J., Schulenberg, J., Miech, R. (2013). The University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. MONITORING THE FUTURE NATIONAL SURVEY RESULTS ON DRUG USE, 1975–2013 Volume 2 College Students and Adults Ages 19–55. Retrieved June 2021 from the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2013: Volume 2, College students and adults ages 19–55

4 National Institute on Drug Abuse: Advancing Addiction Science (2019). Marijuana Drug Facts. Retrieved June 2021 from

5 Wu, C., Jew, P., Lu, H., (2012). Lasting impacts of prenatal cannabis exposure and the role of endogenous cannabinoids in the developing brain. Future Neurol; 6(4); 459-480.

6 National Institute on Drug Abuse: Advancing Addiction Science (2019). Marijuana Drug Facts. Retrieved June 2021 from

7 Goldschmidt, L., Day, N.L., Richardson, G.A., (2000). Effects of prenatal marijuana exposure on child behavior problems at age 10 . Neurotoxicol Teratol; 22(3): 325-336.

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