Smoking Weed & Breastfeeding: Is It Safe for You & Your Baby?

Smoking Weed While Breastfeeding – Is It Safe

Pregnancy is a delicate phase in every woman’s life, and one needs to take extra care of the baby they are nurturing. This means being mindful of what you eat and drink as well as things you should refrain from! However, as soon as you deliver your baby, you may urge to get back to things you have been doing before, and if smoking pot or weed is on your mind, we recommend reading the following post before you decide on this.

Is It Safe To Smoke Weed While Breastfeeding?

Some women may want to smoke weed while they are breastfeeding their babies. But if you are wondering if it is something that you can do, well, the simple and straight answer to this question is ‘No’! Unlike alcohol and other drugs, weed slowly gets metabolized in your body, which means that it gets stored in your fat cells and may stay in your body for up to weeks or even months. It is a known fact that your body uses fat to produce breastmilk, which means that even if you have consumed weed weeks before, it can still get into your breastmilk.

There are not enough studies that support the possible risks that can affect a baby if the mother smokes weed. However, AAP or the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages the use of cannabis for breastfeeding mothers. The point is further emphasized by stressing the fact that the drawbacks are unknown. However, this does not mean that there are no potential risks.

In the dearth of proper evidence and research, doctors may find it difficult to recommend anything when smoking weed and breastfeeding come into the picture. Besides, there are also harmful substances such as bacteria, heavy metals, and even pesticides that may pose health hazards to the mother and her baby.

Does Smoking Weed Affect Your Breastmilk And Baby?

Here is how smoking weed can affect your breastmilk and baby:

1. Developmental Issues

Some research suggests that any marijuana exposure may hamper a baby’s optimal development and may lead to problems like poor cognitive functioning and may also lead to other kinds of long-term complications. It could also hamper a baby’s brain development and may lead to behavioral and cognitive developmental issues.

2. Improper Weight Gain

The effect of cannabis can make babies sleepy, which means that babies will feed less and gain lesser weight than expected. Babies who do not get proper nutrition develop at a slower rate. If a baby is a preemie or a before-term baby, improper nutrition may lead to serious health complications.

3. Breastfeeding Issues

There have been studies that state that women who consumed marijuana did not feed their babies well or for longer compared to breastfeeding mothers who do not consume marijuana.

4. Decrease Milk Production

If you plan to continue breastfeeding your baby for an extended period, consuming cannabis may hamper your milk production and breastfeed exclusively! This happens because the THC in cannabis hampers prolactin production, which is responsible for producing milk.

5. Hyperactivity In Babies

Smoking weed or pot while breastfeeding may make your baby hyperactive and may potentially develop Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD as they grow.

6. Emotional Issues

The use of cannabis is harmful to your baby’s emotional health as this substance contains THC, which may lead to emotional instability issues during their growth.

7. Hampered Awareness

Women who consumed weed may not be able to properly take care of a baby, as consuming such drugs can hamper the person’s awareness levels.

CBD Oil And Breastfeeding

CBD or cannabidiol oil is obtained from marijuana, and it contains THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol, which is responsible for giving you that ‘high’ feeling! CBD is a prevalent remedy for many health conditions such as pain, anxiety, stress, and insomnia. However, there is not enough study available that suggests its potential risks for a breastfeeding mother.

So, it is absolutely at the discretion of the breastfeeding mother to decide whether she is ready to risk it or decide that the potential benefits are more than the risks. However, most health experts do not recommend its usage for breastfeeding mothers since no evidence supports the safety of this product. On top of this, the presence of THC may pose health risks to the breastfeeding baby.

The main concern is that these drugs are not regulated by the FDA and reach the drug stores without FDA regulations or approval.

Does Pumping And Dumping After Weed Help?

That’s a good thought and works just fine after you enjoy an occasional alcoholic beverage! However, if you think that the same will work in this scenario, we hate to burst the bubble as that may not be the case. This is because, unlike wine or other alcoholic beverages, cannabis not only gets slowly absorbed in your system but also stays there for long. Since it is stored in fat cells, which help in breastmilk products, it can be present in your breastmilk supply for days.

Though the dose of THC that a baby ingests may be way lesser in comparison to what the mother may have taken, it can still be present in concentrated amounts in the breastmilk. This means that the amount that a baby may sometimes get exposed to can be substantial.

What Do Major Organizations Recommend About Smoking Weed While Nursing?

Many major organizations advise against smoking marijuana while breastfeeding, as most of these organizations agree that any amount of cannabis is not safe for a breastfeeding mother. They also propagate that a mother should refrain from using any product that uses cannabis as the main ingredient or in any form until she is breastfeeding. Some of these organizations include AAP or American Academy of Pediatrics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, etc.

Is It ok To Smoke Pot Around A Formula-Fed Baby?

Smoking pot is not a good idea during pregnancy, but that’s not all. You should also be careful about not smoking pot or weed around your baby formula-fed or even other children in the house. If a baby is in the house, he may be exposed to second-hand or passive smoking, and many experts believe that it may not be safe for babies. According to the FDA, there are potentially harmful substances found in cannabis, making them inappropriate for children.

What If You Are Using Cannabis Medicinally?

If you are suffering from depression, anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, and other such health ailments, you may be prescribed medicines that contain significant traces of cannabis.

If so, you need to inform your doctor that you are a breastfeeding mother; your doctor may not recommend these kinds of medicines. However, if the potential benefits of the medicine outweigh the probable risks, you may consider the option. You also need to understand that breastmilk is a boon for your growing baby’s health. However, if the need for medicine is so severe, then you may have to forego breastfeeding. Alternatively, you can talk to your doctor about other methods of treatment. There are alternative drugs available that may give the same results as THC in managing your symptoms and providing relief.

Should You Stop Using Weed While Breastfeeding

There is also no substantial evidence available that proves that smoking pot is safe or harmful for a breastfeeding mother. However, most experts expect the mothers to exercise caution and adopt a careful approach as far as smoking pot while breastfeeding a baby is concerned.

Some women may find it difficult to stay away from smoking pot. They need to understand the benefits that breastfeeding can offer a baby in such a situation. A better immune system, enhancing cognitive functioning, better mother-baby bonding are a few benefits.

Breastfeeding is a boon for your baby in every way, and it is better than formula milk. Are you really thinking of throwing all these benefits away by smoking pot! Well, the ideal thing to do is to quit or refrain from smoking weed until the time you plan to breastfeed your little one.

After knowing all the probable risks, we hope that you may like to rethink your decision to smoke pot. It is important to understand that even occasional habits may pose a risk for your baby. The bottom line is that you should not smoke pot or weed while breastfeeding. However, getting in touch with your doctor if you have any concerns or questions regarding smoking weed or such kinds of drugs will be ideal!

Also Read:

Smoking during Breastfeeding
Naproxen during Breastfeeding
Garcinia Cambogia during Breastfeeding

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