Marijuana Use & Pregnant or Breastfeeding Moms

mother-newbornMarijuana Use & Pregnant or Breastfeeding MomsThere is no known safe amount of marijuana that can be used during pregnancy. Marijuana use during pregnancy may have negative effects on the fetus, regardless of when it is used during pregnancy. It is strongly recommended that pregnant women as well as their partners do not use marijuana to avoid the possibility of impacting the healthy development of the baby.

If you're pregnant, thinking of becoming pregnant, or breastfeeding and need help to stop using marijuana talk to a health care provider. It is important to talk openly to your health care provider about past use and the potential risks of continued use. If you or your partner are using marijuana to treat a medical issue, you can explore other options to deal with the issue during your pregnancy and while breastfeeding after your baby is born.

don't-mixWhat Happens if I use Marijuana During my Pregnancy or While Breastfeeding?Research suggests that THC, one of the main chemicals in marijuana, can pass from the mother to the developing fetus through the placenta.1 Additionally, smoking any substance can reduce the amount of oxygen and nutrients the fetus receives. This can cause restriction of growth and development. THC can also be passed to the baby through breast-milk, potentially affecting the baby.2,3

Scientific research is limited on maternal use of marijuana during pregnancy, but current research shows that marijuana use during pregnancy and breastfeeding may be associated with negative effects on exposed offspring, including:4,5

  • Decreased academic ability, cognitive function and attention. These effects may not appear until adolescence.
  • Increased depression symptoms and delinquent behaviors in exposed offspring.
  • Marijuana use during pregnancy may be associated with an increased risk of heart defects (isolated simple ventricular septal defects) in exposed offspring.
  1. Brown, H.L. and C.R. Graves, Smoking and marijuana use in pregnancy. Clin Obstet Gynecol, 2013. 56(1): p. 107-13. 
  2. Hill, M. and K. Reed, Pregnancy, Breast-feeding, and Marijuana: A Review Article. Obstet Gynecol Surv, 2013. 68(10): p. 710-8.
  3. Garry, A., et al., Cannabis and breastfeeding. J Toxicol, 2009. 2009: p. 596149.
  4. Brown, H.L. and C.R. Graves, Smoking and marijuana use in pregnancy. Clin Obstet Gynecol, 2013. 56(1): p. 107-13.
  5. Goldschmidt, L., et al., School achievement in 14-year-old youths prenatally exposed to marijuana. Neurotoxicol Teratol, 2012. 34(1): p. 161-7.