Marijuana and Breastfeeding

Facts on Marijuana and Breastfeeding

marijuana and breastfeeding

There is so much controversy about breastfeeding and marijuana intake that we decided to show both views here. Read the evidence and decide for yourself. 

Please feel free to leave your thoughts on the matter, in the comment box below...

Against Marijuana Use while Breastfeeding...

Smoking marijuana breastfeeding risks…

  • Marijuana intake can decrease milk supply, by decreasing the hormone Prolactin. Here is an article on all the studies done to determine the effects of Marijuana on Prolactin levels
  • Marijuana can cause sedation in the baby when taken in large doses. 
  • Marijuana breastfeeding can delay the growth of a baby when taken in large amounts. Babies have also shown to be weaker and less willing to eat.
  • Marijuana can hamper your ability to look after your baby properly.
  • Babies who are exposed to second-hand marijuana smoke are at higher risk of SIDS “Sudden Infant Death Syndrome."
  • Marijuana has been found to stay in a baby’s system for a whole two weeks after a mom has smoked it.
  • Street drugs often contain more than what you are paying for and may be laced with other drugs which could harm a baby.
  • The long-term effects of marijuana exposure on a baby are not known, but tests done on animals have suggested serious long-term effects, including brain damage.


Breastfeeding and Marijuana use. Journal of Toxicology

Do the risks of smoking marijuana during breastfeeding outweigh the risks of not breastfeeding?

  • If you are going to continue to smoke marijuana while breastfeeding it is definitely better to continue to breastfeed than to stop if it is only occasional. But if you smoke every day, it would be best to either quit smoking or start formula feeding. It's better to be safe than sorry.

Things you can do to protect baby if you continue to smoke marijuana while breastfeeding…

  • Try to cut down on the amount that you smoke.
  • Never expose your baby to the second-hand marijuana smoke.
  • Try smoking after a breastfeeding session, so that the drug has time to leave your system before you breastfeed again.
  • Alternatively, express your breast milk before smoking.

For Marijuana Use while Breastfeeding...

baby holding breast

Research and case studies were done...

  • In this study, they found that there was minimal impact up to three years old in those children whose mothers used Marijuana while breastfeeding. Beyond that age, no effect on IQ. No relationship of marijuana use was connected to miscarriage, to Apgar status, to neonatal complications, physical abnormalities, no impact on cognitive outcomes.
  • Marijuana therapy in children and other research. Cannabinoids, breast milk, and development. 
  • 'The long history of cannabis in women’s medicine supports further therapeutic investigation and application to a large variety of difficult clinical conditions. Cannabis as a logical medical alternative in obstetrics and gynecology may yet prove to be, in the words of Robson (1998), a phoenix whose time it is to rise once more.' Cannabis Treatments in Obstetrics and Gynecology: A Historical Review by Ethan Russo.

NB ~ You should never breastfeed if you are using cocaine, heroin or PCP this can have serious adverse side effects on baby and may even cause death.

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