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Marijuana and Breastfeeding? How Weed Can Impact Pregnancy and Beyond

marijuana and breastfeeding

With ongoing shifts in laws and attitudes around the use of marijuana, this drug is becoming more common for both medicinal and recreational use. However, certain demographics should still take extra care when deciding whether marijuana is right for them — including new or expecting mothers. For instance, is it safe to partake in marijuana while breastfeeding?

Today, we’re exploring the intersection of motherhood and marijuana, from conception to postnatal care. We'll delve into the intricate relationship between marijuana use, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and its impact on both the mother and the baby.

Does Marijuana Affect Fertility?

Before we dive into the world of pregnancy, let's address an important question: Does marijuana affect fertility? Research suggests that heavy and prolonged marijuana use may disrupt the delicate hormonal balance necessary for successful conception. Among women, it has been suggested to interfere with the menstrual cycle and ovulation, while among men, weed use has been linked to issues like low libido, sexual dysfunction, and testicular atrophy.

All that said, research is ongoing, and the evidence tying marijuana to fertility problems is not entirely clear-cut. Individual experiences can vary, so evaluate your own lifestyle, marijuana use, and pregnancy goals when deciding whether weed may be impacting your fertility journey. If you’re struggling to conceive, excising marijuana from your lifestyle may be a step to consider.

Marijuana and Pregnancy

The question of using marijuana while expecting is somewhat complicated by the many different ways to consume this drug. But it’s important to do your research rather than assuming that any substance is safe during pregnancy. This includes the various incarnations of marijuana, from joints or gummies to less common weed products like marijuana tea.

Smoking Weed During Pregnancy

When it comes to smoking marijuana while pregnant, the general consensus among healthcare professionals is a cautious "don't do it." Smoking weed can expose the developing fetus to harmful chemicals and toxins, potentially leading to low birth weight and other complications. There is also some early evidence suggesting that smoking marijuana could have long-term developmental effects on the baby, such as problems with memory and attention span.

Ingesting Edibles or Cannabis Tea While Pregnant

Some expecting mothers may consider alternatives like edibles or cannabis tea, assuming they are safer than smoking marijuana. While these methods eliminate the risks associated with inhaling smoke, THC (the psychoactive compound in marijuana) can still pass through the placenta and affect the baby's development. As such, weed edibles and marijuana tea are still not recommended for use during pregnancy.

Using Marijuana After Birth

Once the baby arrives, some mothers may wonder about the feasibility and timeline for returning to marijuana use. While it's essential to prioritize the baby's well-being, many mothers miss the relaxation and relief marijuana can provide. This may be an even more significant conundrum for mothers who rely on marijuana for medicinal or therapeutic purposes. But is it safe for them to return to marijuana use after birth?

Marijuana and Breastfeeding

Post-labor, one of the most immediate question marks around weed use has to do with marijuana and breastfeeding. Specifically, is it safe for breastfeeding mothers to consume marijuana, or can the baby be impacted?

It’s critical to note that, yes, THC can be transmitted to the baby through breast milk. This raises concerns about the potential impact of weed use on the infant's development and well-being. Research on this topic is currently limited, but here's what we do know:

Every woman's body processes THC differently. Factors like the frequency and quantity of marijuana use can also play a role in how much THC is present in breast milk. But when trying to ensure the health of fetuses, newborns, and growing infants, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. In this case, since weed use may indirectly impact breastfeeding babies, it is considered best to continue abstaining from marijuana for as long as your child is consuming breast milk.

How Second-Hand Smoke Impacts Infants

Even if a breastfeeding mother doesn't use weed herself, exposure to second-hand marijuana smoke can still pose risks to the baby. Passive inhalation of marijuana smoke can lead to respiratory issues and affect the baby's overall health. Cigarettes, cigars, and even vapes can carry similar risks. As such, it’s advised to avoid smoking marijuana or any other substance around young children.

Stay Informed with Countrywide Testing

In conclusion, the relationship between marijuana, pregnancy, and breastfeeding is complex and not entirely understood. The safest course of action during pregnancy and breastfeeding is to abstain from marijuana use. However, if you have questions or concerns, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare provider who can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation.

Remember, as a mother, your well-being is closely tied to your baby's, and making informed choices is the best way to ensure a healthy and happy start in life for your little one.

Still have other questions about substance use and drug safety? Countrywide Testing is here to help, with an extensive knowledge base and options for at-home drug testing.

Countrywide Testing is an online retailer providing you with easy access to standard drug tests. We offer various products for testing at home, individuals staying clean after rehab, workplace testing, healthcare emergencies, and law enforcement purposes. Our test kits are convenient, affordable, and ship to you quickly. Plus, our lab is accredited by SAMHSA, so you can rest assured your test results are handled in accordance with the highest industry standards.

At Countrywide Testing, we provide fast, accurate results in an easy-to-use format so that you can get the information you need. Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive selection of testing services.