HOME VISITING: Breastfeeding and Marijuana Use

Just once or on occasion is a big NO when it comes to marijuana use. No amount of marijuana is safe to use during pregnancy or after breastfeeding. You can still pass the harmful substance to your baby through breast milk.  Although the use of medical marijuana is legal in Delaware, marijuana use in any form during pregnancy or breastfeeding poses potential risks for your baby.

Here are some things we want you to know so that you can protect and care for your baby:

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, THC (a chemical found in marijuana) “is stored in fat and is slowly released over time, meaning an infant could be exposed for a longer period of time.”  This means that even if it was JUST ONE TIME your baby could still be exposed to the substance during multiple feedings.

If you expose your baby to the chemicals in marijuana through breastmilk, there is an increased chance of developmental problems later in life. This means that as your baby grows up, they might have trouble meeting major milestones. For example, they could struggle to raise their head while lying on their stomach or they could have trouble moving an object from one hand to another.

We all need vitamins to grow, grow, grow! Marijuana use during breastfeeding can change how much breast milk you make. It can also change what makes breast milk healthy. This can prevent your baby from getting all the right nutrients they need to grow up smart and successful.

Quitting tobacco, drugs, or alcohol can be hard. There are resources available to keep you and your baby safe. You can visit helpisherede.com. You can also talk to your home visitor or healthcare provider. They will be there for you and your baby. Together, you can explore options to help you make the best decision for you and your baby.