Being a new mom is a whirlwind of emotions and responsibilities. You’ve got your hands completely taking care of your precious bundle, healing after childbirth, and trying to look after yourself, too. It’s a lot to handle. So, it’s no surprise that many new moms are curious about using CBD products to ease stress, chronic pain, and discomfort.

But here’s the big question: Is it okay for breastfeeding moms to use CBD? Well, the truth is, there isn’t a ton of research on how CBD affects breastfed babies. So, it’s a good idea to play it safe and skip the CBD while you’re breastfeeding.

Why Some Mothers Consider Using CBD While Breastfeeding?

Bringing a new baby into your home significantly changes your family. It’s a happy time, but it can also be challenging. During the nine months of pregnancy and the postpartum period, women undergo many body changes. This leads to pain, hormone issues, stress, and sometimes even postpartum depression.

A lot of people talk about breastfeeding parents and how CBD might help with stress, mood, sleep, and pain. So, many new moms are considering CBD products because they are natural and gentle.

But here’s the critical question: Is it safe to use CBD oil when you’re breastfeeding your baby?

Even if we don’t think about CBD, breastfeeding has many advantages for mental health for both the mother and the baby. Studies show that breastfeeding moms tend to feel less stressed, have fewer symptoms of depression, and lose more weight compared to moms who don’t breastfeed.

What The Science Says About CBD And Breastfeeding?

Using a cannabis plant and product during pregnancy poses risks to the developing fetus, so it’s strongly recommended to avoid them entirely. Research into the effects of marijuana use during pregnancy has shown that newborns exposed to it are more likely to have lower birth weights. And they tend to have potential problems with their brain and nervous system development.

When it comes to using CBD products or vaping while breastfeeding, we have limited information, especially regarding their impact on breast milk. Most of the available studies have centered around marijuana and THC.

THC and CBD are compounds that stick to fat and are processed similarly in the body. This means there are some assumptions we can make, but we don’t have concrete data on how these compounds affect infants exposed to them.

A study conducted between 2014 and 2017 tracked 50 breastfeeding women who reported using marijuana. They provided breast milk samples for analysis to measure cannabinoid levels. The results showed that THC was still detectable in 63% of the human milk samples up to six days after use, and five samples contained measurable levels of CBD (8.56 ng/mL).

This study indicates that it takes significant time to break down and remove cannabinoids from the body because they are fat-soluble. It’s not as straightforward as pumping breast milk and discarding it, as some nursing mothers might do after having a glass of wine.

Since there’s insufficient research on the consequences of using CBD products while nursing, the safest approach is to avoid them altogether.

Risks Of Smoking CBD While Breastfeeding

Let’s talk about smoking and breastfeeding, but in simpler terms. Smoking regular cigarettes while pregnant is a big no-no because the harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke can get into your breast milk. Babies exposed to this smoke through breast milk can have health issues like breathing problems, ear infections, and even a risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Now, what about smoking CBD while breastfeeding? Is it safe? We don’t have a clear answer yet, but there are things to consider. First, CBD can also get into your breast milk, and it might not be safe for your baby. Plus, just smoking cannabis or anything while breastfeeding isn’t good for you or your little one.

Here’s one more thing to be careful about when using CBD products. The CBD industry is quite new, and it’s not well-regulated. Sadly, some companies care more about money than your health. They might use shortcuts that end up harming you and your baby.

You see, the hemp plant, where CBD comes from, can pick up harmful stuff from its environment. If grown in a bad place, they could have pesticides and heavy metals. These can end up in your CBD products and then in your breast milk, which is not good for your baby.

lady smoking weed

Risks Of Taking CBD Oil While Breastfeeding

While many adults find CBD oil safe to use, it’s important to be cautious if you’re a breastfeeding mother. The research on how CBD affects both breastfeeding mothers and their babies in this situation is quite limited.

Here are some potential concerns when using CBD oil while breastfeeding:

  • Impact on Milk Production: CBD might interfere with a mother’s ability to produce enough milk and the quality of that milk.
  • Transfer to Breastmilk: CBD makes its way into breast milk, potentially exposing the baby to this compound.
  • Possible Effects on Baby’s Brain: CBD interacts with the central nervous system, so it could affect a baby’s developing brain if exposed to it through breast milk for an extended period.

Considering the uncertainties surrounding cannabis use during breastfeeding, it’s generally a good idea for new mothers to err on the side of caution. So, it’s best to avoid using any cannabis products while nursing their babies.

How Long Is CBD In Breast Milk?

Lots of things can influence how long cannabinoids stick around in your body. Your metabolism, how often you use them, and how much you take all play a role.

Cannabinoids like CBD hang around in your body for a while because they like to stick to fat. This is different from substances like alcohol and nicotine, which don’t hang around as long. When it comes to drug tests, we’ve found that THC, one of the main cannabinoids, can still show up in your pee even a whole month after you last used it.

There’s even some evidence that traces of cannabinoids can be found in breast milk up to six days after someone used them. But remember, this can vary from person to person.

Can Nursing Mothers Use Topical CBD Products?

Using CBD products on your skin might sound safe because they usually don’t get into your bloodstream.

CBD, when applied topically, basically works directly on your skin. It talks to these tiny endocannabinoid receptors in your skin and does its thing there. But here’s the thing: when it comes to mixing CBD and breast milk, we’re in a bit of a mystery zone.

To be safe, it’s probably best to steer clear of anything that might have a tiny chance of causing problems for the baby.”

Risks vs. Benefits of CBD While Breastfeeding

In simple terms, CBD is seen as pretty safe for both grown-ups and kids. It might not cause any big issues, according to Hilary Peckham. She’s one of the founders of Etain Health, a medical marijuana store in New York run by women.

Some new moms and dads feel sad, worried, tired, or not so close to their baby after childbirth. They might take medicines called antidepressants, but those might not be okay for breastfeeding. So, they might have to stop taking them.

Peckham suggests that trying CBD could be a better idea. It might let parents keep breastfeeding and spend more time bonding with their baby. But it’s super important to chat with your doctor first, especially if you’re breastfeeding.

Final Thoughts

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) advise doctors to tell parents not to use any cannabis products, including CBD, if they want to breastfeed.

Only a tiny bit of CBD ends up in human breast milk anyway, and we don’t know exactly how it affects babies because more research is needed. If you’re a mom thinking about trying CBD while breastfeeding, it’s smart to have a chat with your doctor first. They can give you the best advice for your unique situation.

The relationship between cannabis usage and breastfeeding is complex due to varying cannabinoid concentrations in different products. It’s important to consider that CBD, derived from these plants, may interact with prescription medications. Therefore, caution and consultation with healthcare professionals are advised for breastfeeding mothers considering CBD use.

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