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Breastfeeding & Me

For those choosing to breastfeed or chestfeed, it’s essential to understand how sustained substance use poses a risk to your developing child. In learning about the negative impacts, we hope to empower parents and caregivers to make informed decisions for the well-being of themselves and their little ones.
Can I drink alcohol when breastfeeding?
mother holding a yawning infant

Alcohol can pass through your bloodstream and into your breastmilk. This is not safe for your baby. The amount of alcohol in your breastmilk is about the same level of alcohol in your bloodstream. Only time can reduce the amount of alcohol in the milk. (You can test to make sure there is no alcohol in your breastmilk, but we don’t have tested test-information.)

Using alcohol while breastfeeding can make it difficult for your body to produce the breast milk your baby needs.

Mothers who have been drinking should not bed-share with their babies as their natural reflexes will be affected.

Is marijuana safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding?
No, there is no known safe amount of marijuana to use while pregnant or breastfeeding. No matter how it’s used or when it is used THC always gets passed to your baby.

There is no safe amount at any time during your pregnancy.

Simply put, there is no known safe amount of marijuana while pregnant. No matter if it’s smoked, vaped or eaten, THC gets passed on to your baby and may have a long-term impact on your child’s ability to learn. Be sure to talk to your doctor early in your pregnancy about marijuana use.

Does "pumping and dumping" work with weed?

nursing baby wearing a hoodiePumping and dumping isn’t a solution with weed.

If you use marijuana while breastfeeding or chestfeeding, your child is exposed to it. THC is stored in fat cells, so pumping and dumping doesn’t work. THC can remain in your breast milk even after you’ve stopped using it. You can pump and dump with alcohol – but it takes time to leave your body. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions.

What about medical marijuana use while pregnant or breastfeeding?
Medical use while pregnant or breastfeeding is a discussion to have with your healthcare provider. Using medical marijuana as a new mother is a choice best made between you and your doctor. It isn’t a good idea to use any medicines while pregnant or breastfeeding unless they are recommended by your doctor, so talk with a professional about whether or not the benefits outweigh the risks.
Is secondhand marijuana smoke safe for my baby?
mother holding up babySecondhand marijuana smoke (or any smoke or vape) isn’t safe for you or your baby.

Secondhand smoke from marijuana has many of the same cancer-causing chemicals as tobacco smoke. Make the safest, healthiest and most responsible choice and keep your home smoke-free/vape-free.

Marijuana is natural so it seems like it should be safe. Is that true?
Black mother and baby wearing yellow flowers in their hairIt might be natural, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe. Marijuana contains THC, which may harm your baby. Not all natural substances or plants are safe — think of lead, tobacco, and poisonous berries as examples.

Any medicine or substance, including marijuana/THC, can have consequences for your pregnancy.

The continued use of an existing medicine or substance has different consequences when you are pregnant. It might be unsafe for your baby. Before you stop, talk to your doctor about all medicines and substances you use. Your doctor will help your figure out if there are safer options. Together, you might decide the benefits of marijuana use are greater than the risks, and can recommend marijuana while pregnant or breastfeeding.