March 6, 2017
PCOM-San Diego’s Academic Dean of Graduate Studies, Dr. Leena Guptha, appeared on Fox News Friday morning to discuss a growing trend: expectant mothers “turning to marijuana for things like nausea, morning sickness, and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as anxiety and pain management”, said Guptha. Over a decade, the incidence of marijuana use by pregnant women grew by 62%, despite solid evidence either for or against its safety. Conventional wisdom, as recommended by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, holds that marijuana should be avoided by those who are breastfeeding, pregnant, or attempting to become so, but the general lack of research into marijuana, as well as disentangling the effects of marijuana from those of other substances such as tobacco or alcohol, makes conclusions difficult and larger studies necessary. “The National Institute of Drug Abuse has said that we don’t fully understand how the human development, prenatally, unfolds, but there is enough evidence in the literature to give us some concern”, says Guptha, with circumstantial evidence of an increased risk of anemia for the child, low birth weight, reduced academic development, and cognitive issues.
Dr. Guptha also discussed integrative healthcare approaches such as acupuncture, massage, hypnotherapy, mindful meditation, as well as an emerging area: health coaching. She also brought up recent advancements toward a more integrative healthcare climate such as the American College of Physicians’ recommendation of massage and acupuncture over drugs for low back pain.