Cannabis use has been increasing in Canada, including among pregnant Canadian women. Although we anticipate further increases because of greater availability of cannabis and low perceptions of harm, there is a lack of conclusive evidence on the short-term outcomes and long-term sequelae of exposed children.
Using provincial data from BORN Ontario and ICES, we are conducting population-based cohort studies to examine pregnancy, neonatal and childhood health outcomes following exposure to cannabis and other substances. We are using these data to evaluate patterns in cannabis and other substance use in pregnant women/individuals in Ontario, and the association between substance use in pregnancy and pregnancy and newborn outcomes including preterm birth, birthweight and newborn admission to neonatal intensive care units and re-hospitalization. We are also exploring the longer-term health outcomes of children exposed to cannabis and other substances in pregnancy and through breastfeeding and evaluating the knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding cannabis use in pregnancy among Canadians.
The findings from this research program will yield important results to assist in shaping comprehensive policy and public health messaging for Canadian women and their health care providers.
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