The Mercury News
Worried by pregnant smoker
DEAR AMY >> I am a waitress. One of my co-workers is six months pregnant.
Every time she takes a break, she goes out back and smokes cigarettes.
Sometimes she smokes weed.
She has been smoking ever since I started here, four months ago.
I'm a mind-your-ownbusiness kind of person, but I have witnessed a family member suffer from asthma.
I know that smoking while pregnant increases the chance of the baby having breathing problems.
I know that my co-worker goes to the doctor for prenatal care and stuff, but every time she takes a break, my heart sinks and I feel guilty.
Should I say something to her, and if so, what can I say?
DEAR WORRIED >> Your coworker is likely under a lot of stress. She is working at a relatively low-wage, physically demanding job while pregnant.
Rihanna may make it all look easy — but for many women, pregnancy presents a myriad of extremely stressful situations.
It is common knowledge that smoking is bad for one's health and that smoking while pregnant could negatively affect the unborn baby's health. If your co-worker is seeing her doctor regularly for prenatal visits, then this will have been emphasized many times.
No one should smoke weed while working or while pregnant.
Marijuana affects the mother's cognition, coordination, and reaction time.
According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA.gov):
“No amount of marijuana has been proven safe to use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. In 2018, the American Academy of Pediatrics released its first official guidelines, advising women who are pregnant or nursing to avoid marijuana use because it isn't safe for them or their children.
“Whether smoked, eaten in food (edibles), or vaped, marijuana is stronger than ever before, which makes use during pregnancy especially risky for a developing baby's health. Marijuana contains nearly 500 chemicals, including the mind-altering compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). These chemicals can pass through a woman's placenta to her baby during pregnancy.”
I think you could have the greatest influence on your co-worker by getting to know her and by trying to discourage her from ingesting pot. Be non-judgmental and compassionate toward her. She may tell you that she is using pot to treat nausea or to boost her appetite. Ask her, “Have you asked your doctor about that?”
DEAR AMY >> “Overlooked” was a legal secretary who “never” took her own vacation days because she was worried about not having coverage while she was gone. I hope she doesn't make this mistake in her next job!
Always take your vacation days — you've earned them!
— Been There, Gone Fishin'
DEAR BEEN THERE >> I agree that “Overlooked” gave way too much.