Pot-Smoking New Mom Fights to Breastfeed Preemie

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Online Dish: Pot-Smoking New Mom Fights to Breastfeed Preemie

They say “breast is best” but not when it comes to one Oregon mother. Crystal Cain says she was told she couldn’t breastfeed her daughter in a Portland hospital because she’s used medical marijuana since pregnancy.

Cain’s daughter was born eight weeks premature and required a hospital stay before coming home. That’s where the mom says she was told she couldn’t nurse the child because of her marijuana use.

Cain says she smoked marijuana during her pregnancy on her midwife’s advice for anxiety and nausea.

She didn’t want to stop the treatment because it was helping her and she says she’s not worried about THC getting into her bloodstream or breastmilk.

“There are several studies that indicate that it doesn’t, it can’t transfer through your milk ducts. Your body automatically kind of filters it.”

When Cain put up a fight, the hospital backed off, forcing her to sign a waiver that acknowledged the potential risks of simultaneous marijuana usage and breastfeeding.

As medical marijuana usage gains popularity, and legality, in various states there are going to be more “Marijuana Moms” out there nursing.

So is it worth the risk? After looking at the Baby Center website the answer is no.

  • An important phase of brain development occurs in the first month of life, and marijuana could alter the brain development of your newborn.
  • A baby exposed to marijuana through breast milk may appear sedated and unable to suck well.
  • One 1990 study associated marijuana exposure through breast milk in a baby’s first month of life with diminished motor development at age 12 months.
  • Being under the influence of marijuana could impair your ability to care for your baby.

So is breast best? Yes. But please be careful of what you ingest after all that’s what your baby digests.

And that’s today’s helping of the Online Dish with Maggie.