“Feeling the contraction hit, I sat up in my bed and reached for my lighter.”
Some people hand out cigars after the birth of a child, others prefer a big bag of pot.
A British mother is drawing criticism after admitting to not just smoking pot during her three pregnancies, but to organizing a home birth so that she could get high before delivering her third child to the waiting world.
Biba Tanya, a 39-year-old mother, recounted her latest cannabis-infused birth for The Sun. “Feeling the contraction hit, I sat up in my bed and reached for my lighter,” Tanya said. “I’d pre-rolled three cannabis joints using pot I’d got from a friend a week earlier in preparation for labour,” she said.
“By the time I was sitting in the birthing pool preparing for the birth of my third child, with just my husband and no midwife to help, I was as high as a kite. I didn’t want anyone but Kevin there because they would not have allowed me to smoke during the birth,” Tanya added.
After 90 minutes in the pool, baby Lola entered the world at a healthy 8 lbs, one ounce, Tanya said. She brought the young girl to see a doctor four days later for a checkup, but hasn’t needed any other medical intervention since. Now she’s opening up on the method to her madness.
“I am only too happy to admit I also smoked cannabis during all three of my pregnancies,” she said. “It was the right decision for me because my kids are all happy, healthy and meeting all their milestones.”
Tanya started using cannabis during her first pregnancy in 2004 to help with anxiety and nausea, she said, although she had to keep it hidden from her first husband. The child was healthy, encouraging her to use weed again — during her second pregnancy with her second husband — when her throat was raw from vomiting.
“Kevin was supportive, but he admitted he was having to re-program his brain to accept looking at a pregnant woman smoking. It goes against everything society tells you — so I didn’t tell my midwife or doctor,” she said.
But Tanya relied on the “miracle plant” more and more over the years, rubbing it in her children’s mouths to help with teething or giving them a few drops after a painful fall.
“I know people will tell me I am a lunatic and my actions made the babies in my belly high,” she said. “I now want cannabis to be available to all women during pregnancy and made available on the NHS (National Health Service) during childbirth. I am the U.K.’s pot mum and I am proud of that title.”
While doctors definitely do not recommend smoking cannabis during pregnancy or exposing anyone with a still-developing brain to the drug, a new study shows that the more stress a woman experiences in the year prior to childbirth, the more likely she is to turn to marijuana before and after pregnancy.
The study, published in Addiction, found that women with partners who lost their jobs in the past year were 81 percent more likely to light up before pregnancy and 119 percent more inclined to continue that use into pregnancy compared to women with still-employed spouses.
“We know that adverse childhood events increase the risk of substance abuse in a wide range of people, including pregnant women,” said Alicia Allen, lead author of the study and assistant professor at the University of Arizona. “However, this is the first study looking at more recent stressful events, such as having a sick family member, financial problems or domestic problems, to name just a few,” Allen said.
“More research is needed to identify effective interventions to reduce marijuana use during the perinatal period, and our research indicates that targeting stressful events — such as providing interventions and trainings to alleviate stressors — may be fruitful,” she said.
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Written by David Yasvinski