December 2, 2020

Weed and Breastfeeding

Using Marijuana and Breastfeeding. Let’s talk about it.

 

Now that recreational marijuana is legal in many states, (besides New York…) parental marijuana use has become a less taboo topic during routine visits. More and more breastfeeding mothers will ask if it is ok to smoke a little weed when breastfeeding. Having a newborn can be stressful, so it makes sense that you’d tempted to indulge in a substance known to help with relaxation. From smoking marijuana to consuming edibles, we’re here to explain the situation.

 

As a mother consumes or smokes marijuana, the THC (TetraHydrocannabinol) is stored in the mother’s fat cells.  Breast milk is high fat (part of why it is so nutritious for the infant), and therefore it absorbs THC from the mother. Unlike alcohol, which leaves the breast milk once it is out of the blood stream, THC remains in the breast milk long after the effects of the marijuana have worn off.

 

It is unclear what exactly the effects of THC are on your newborn. Some studies show that it can cause motor delay or a weak suck. Other studies show it can decrease milk supply or affect the quality of breast milk. It also seems that long term or chronic use of marijuana during breastfeeding may have a more significant impact on the newborn’s development. The truth is, the effects of THC on breastfed infants has not been well studied. Until we have more data, our advice is to abstain until you wean. Overall: we advise you not to smoke weed while breastfeeding.

 

Looking to replace that weed with a drink? Learn about drinking Alcohol and Breastfeeding here!

 

Need more information? Check out the following link:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Is it safe for mothers who use marijuana to breastfeed?

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