I know female perspectives are better here and I hope there will be more shared. I just want to put some information out there, stuff you, JAHChild, no doubt already know from personal research. For me this kind of stuff came up when my daughters were born; one being born at home. We also talked about things like low iron and the negative interactions my wife at the time had had with a (male) doctor during her first pregnancy. So I would like to add/bump this topic but my intention is not to mansplain, though I fear I may fail. If so, please forgive me.
Personally, I think that it's less about the thing (cannabis) and more about what it does vs what the body needs during pregnancy.
For example, Dopamine is a chemical released by the brain that makes you feel good. Dopamine helps nerve cells communicate.
There is a video on tik tok making its rounds about how people should avoid pleasure because of dopamine being a key component in addiction.
Yes, it is. But why does the body produce it? Let's not ignore the usefulness of dopamine just because it can be abused. It's not dopamine's fault when that happens.
Dopamine apparently also helps us strive, focus, and find things interesting.
I do have great respect for medicine. I also have respect for the bible when it is accurate. But I also understand that communities and nations didn't have the luxury of tailoring solutions to individuals. Therefore, if some people were allergic to shellfish, it just told everyone to stay away from shellfish. Why even risk it in an age where medications weren't available to prevent a person from going into anaphylactic shock?
"What is the function of oxytocin? The two main physical functions of oxytocin are to stimulate uterine contractions in labor and childbirth and to stimulate contractions of breast tissue to aid in lactation after childbirth." - Cleveland Clinic
But this is another chemical messenger like dopamine. It is involved in sexual arousal, recognition, trust, romantic attachment and mother-infant bonding. So it's been called the "love hormone".
Here are more facts about oxytocin:
A lot of people talk about nurturing a child, but if you follow this logic, this starts in the womb. Holding a child, feeding a child, all these things start in the womb.
All this is to say that there is a chemical environment in the body that makes different tasks easier or more difficult. To have the best experience and eliminate as many potential problems as possible, you should try to promote the best internal environment by making sure you are experiencing love, affection, and as little stress as possible.
Another note about oxytocin:
Oxytocin can induce anti-stress-like effects such as reduction of blood pressure and cortisol levels. It increases pain thresholds, exerts an anxiolytic-like effect and stimulates various types of positive social interaction. In addition, it promotes growth and healing. - National Institutes of Health
So since the same chemical that we know is involved in labor, breast feeding, and bonding, we could also view these other effects as being important in the same process of giving birth. We may view giving birth as a quick process. Perhaps the body sees it as a much longer process and the same chemicals at work in the end are also needed and important in the beginning.
Since oxytocin has a calming anti-stress effect you can see where I'm going next.
Cannabis works because it fits in with our own neurobiology just like oxytocin. So it makes sense that it can augment oxytocin and contribute to the same job. The enemy of that job is stress. Stress can effect prenatal development. It can increase the chances of delivering prematurely or having an underweight newborn. Cortisol, the stress hormone, can even disrupt the development of the unborn child's brain.
I could not find evidence of a direct link between stress and miscarriage, which is good. But if we're just talking about the positives of creating a healthy environment for the growing baby you have to also then consider what makes mommy happy, reduces stress, and induces relaxation and calm. Nothing is a guarantee because everything is just one contributing factor or another, but it definitely seems like cannabis is something that can help IF AND ONLY IF OTHER PRECAUTIONS ARE TAKEN.
There are studies about possible negative impact of prenatal cannabis. However, according to the NIH, the fear-based propaganda against cannabis during pregnancy may be largely weak.
The latter argues that THC decreases folic acid (Vitamin B9) uptake. However, it seems likely to me that they could be relating this cause to other issues which could all be avoided by taking prenatal vitamins and making sure your body has a healthy supply of B vitamins.
B vitamins are good for both men and women. And if this is true then this is a general problem with cannabis that can be easily overcome by a healthy diet. If a person has a poor diet and abuses cannabis (meaning they take an extreme amount of THC) then it makes sense they would be setting themselves up for negative effects. But the lifestyle of Rastafarians does not suggest this would be an issue.