"Medical" Marijuana during Labor - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 198 Old 02-29-2008, 01:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay, I just have to share....first of all, I have long been of the belief that a little marijuana is okay during pregnancy. And so I have had a bit here and there, no problems with either pregnancy/child.

I am now thinking of using it for pain management during labor. Apparently this is common in Jamaica (surprise), and I have read that midwives have used it for thousands of years.

Anyone out there want to share their experiences, IF they have? OR their thoughts if they are thinking about it now?

I am pretty sure I am gonna go for it. :
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#2 of 198 Old 02-29-2008, 03:31 AM
 
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i dont see any problm with it, i personally wouldnt just because i want to experience the whole of it, and not numb myself in any way. but IF i wanted any pain relief, it would be a little marijuana
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#3 of 198 Old 02-29-2008, 04:13 AM
 
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I have been pondering this myself. My only concern is that my tolerance would be too low at the time since I definitely don't smoke like I used to, and I'd wind up stoned instead of relaxed - not what I want for my first homebirth! I am open to it, though, so we'll see what happens.
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#4 of 198 Old 02-29-2008, 04:31 AM
 
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Okay, I just have to share....first of all, I have long been of the belief that a little marijuana is okay during pregnancy. And so I have had a bit here and there, no problems with either pregnancy/child.

I am now thinking of using it for pain management during labor. Apparently this is common in Jamaica (surprise), and I have read that midwives have used it for thousands of years.

Anyone out there want to share their experiences, IF they have? OR their thoughts if they are thinking about it now?

I am pretty sure I am gonna go for it. :
You might want to consider what could happen if you had to transfer to the hospital for some reason in the midst of labor or immediately after the birth. If you or the baby were found to have marijuana in your system it could lead to serious reprucussions. Just something to think about.
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#5 of 198 Old 02-29-2008, 10:31 AM
 
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You might want to consider what could happen if you had to transfer to the hospital for some reason in the midst of labor or immediately after the birth. If you or the baby were found to have marijuana in your system it could lead to serious reprucussions. Just something to think about.
This is what I was going to say. If, heaven forbid, you need to transfer, they can do a drug test without informing you or getting your consent (and usually will for HB transfer).
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#6 of 198 Old 02-29-2008, 12:44 PM
 
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^I agree! They could take away your baby because of the drugs in your system (and maybe even in your baby's system.) I don't think it would be worth it.

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#7 of 198 Old 02-29-2008, 12:55 PM
 
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How can they do a drug test (without cause) without your consent? I'm not sure this is the law. Anyone know for sure?

The only issue I'd have with using pot for pain management is that I think it would affect how out of it I'd feel. I'd either focus in on the pain and get paranoid or not be able to focus and work with my body because i was stoned.

I really don't think drugs are necessary during labor for pain management. There are so many better options.

Being fully present in the moment is an amazing way to bring your baby into the world.

I'm also unsure of whether or not pot would have effects on the body's natural endorphin system and all the other hormonal reactions that take place (typical hospital drugs - opiates - do suppress these hormonal reactions and cause a whole host of issues)
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#8 of 198 Old 02-29-2008, 12:55 PM
 
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You might want to consider what could happen if you had to transfer to the hospital for some reason in the midst of labor or immediately after the birth. If you or the baby were found to have marijuana in your system it could lead to serious reprucussions. Just something to think about.
Yeah, that's why I quit marijuana completely during pregnancy. I think eating it would be better than smoking it, anyway, but I was afraid of complications leading to hospital and tox screen and all the problems that would ensue. It's too bad we have to worry about things like that, since all the good science I've found supports the fact that marijuana isn't harmful during the pregnancy and there are times I'd like it to settle my stomach.

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How can they do a drug test (without cause) without your consent? I'm not sure this is the law. Anyone know for sure?
The laws may be different by state, but according to my nurse friend here in Texas, you sign a general consent form when you are admitted that allows most testing. You would have to give separate consent for HIV, but not for drugs. They won't actually do it without "probable cause," but determining that is up to the doctors, so it's hard to say when they might decide they have cause. If you'd been smoking in the last couple of hours for pain management, it seems possible they would smell or otherwise recognize the signs and might test.
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#9 of 198 Old 02-29-2008, 01:38 PM - Thread Starter
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All the feedback is really great. I am actually going to the hospital to delivery, but will be at home early on. I asked my midwife about it and she said unless there is a history of drug abuse, they aren't looking for that information.

And about being present, I totally agree. I think it's very much an individual decision, based on a few things.....personally, I know how I react w/ it and feel that it would keep me relaxed as I climb towards transition and by THAT time all my hormones, pain, etc would over ride.

I do know someone who had it during hers and it was enjoyable. I guess I feel like when I have taken it for period cramps, it works wonders. I feel like I would still be there, by the time the baby came out.....

And yes, I did it without meds last time.....the question is, do I want to do it again? at that same level of pain? not really!
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#10 of 198 Old 02-29-2008, 02:40 PM
 
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#11 of 198 Old 02-29-2008, 03:14 PM
 
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does anyone think "history of drug abuse" would include being honest with the midwife about smoking mj?

i've cut down considerably BUT, when i did my first interview with the midwife i told her that i smoked. she asked me if i stopped and i said yes (small white lie, but i really don't smoke all that much, not everyday, maybe 1-2x per week)

but did she put that in my chart, er something, and maybe the hospital will see it and want to test? or do they mean like a serious history of drug abuse, with rehab visits and stuff?

also be careful...if you are young, poor (welfare) and/or a minority they will test you. sorta like profiling for high risk. this is why i'm stopping now. but i'm still worried that i might test positive since it takes so LONG to get out of your system (I was a habitual, everyday multiple times per day smoker before i got pregnant)

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#12 of 198 Old 02-29-2008, 03:15 PM
 
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If you are delivering in the hospital I would definitely NOT do it. Nothing is worth the chance of them taking your sweet baby away. It is really sad that a little marijuana is illegal and they could take your baby away but they are constantly drugging moms up with epidurals and other harmful things. Marijuana would have much less effect on the baby. I personally think that it would be a fine way to manage the pain-if you want to do it with drugs but since it is illegal I would not. As I said above, it is not worth the risk.
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#13 of 198 Old 02-29-2008, 03:32 PM
 
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I worked in a hospital on the post partum for many years and they did not take away a baby just because mom tested + for pot. there are to many other worse drugs and events that happen for them to be concerned about. however they do routinely do drug screens on mom's with no history of prenatal care. They tell them before they do the screen, and that's when most mom's confess. No worries to you at all. if your used to smoking every once in awhile i think it would help you relax. good luck
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#14 of 198 Old 02-29-2008, 03:38 PM
 
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regarding the testing for it at the hospital - if she has smoked it at all within a month of giving birth, chances are it will show up on a test. THC stays in the system a long time, it wouldn't make any difference if she'd smoked it that day or not. so that, in and of itself would not be a reason to avoid it in labor... if you're not avoiding it in general during pregnancy.

i, too, would worry about it making me paranoid. also, i would definitely make sure it's from a batch you've smoked already and know the potency of. sometimes you can take a teeny weeny little puff and be on your butt from something very strong, while other things you can have 5 or 6 puffs and not have that same intensity of effect.

i personally wouldn't use it for pain management. the amount i think it would take to really help with pain would be too much for me to be able to stay focused and present. but it seems like using it in early labor, similarly to how you might with a small glass of wine would be OK - to allow you to relax and maybe get some sleep so you're ready for the more difficult stuff to come.
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#15 of 198 Old 02-29-2008, 04:12 PM
 
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interesting thread! i seriously worry about legal repercussions regarding mj use (espescially since we don't vax)...i wouldn't use it in labor because i would worry it would make me too spacey or paranoid, and in the past a couple of times it made me feel like my heart was going to jump out of my chest. it would be really something if you could get an unbiased study on the effects of mj use for pain relief in labor and if/how it affects the hormonal processes.

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#16 of 198 Old 02-29-2008, 04:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chandasz View Post
How can they do a drug test (without cause) without your consent? I'm not sure this is the law. Anyone know for sure?

The only issue I'd have with using pot for pain management is that I think it would affect how out of it I'd feel. I'd either focus in on the pain and get paranoid or not be able to focus and work with my body because i was stoned.

I really don't think drugs are necessary during labor for pain management. There are so many better options.

Being fully present in the moment is an amazing way to bring your baby into the world.

I'm also unsure of whether or not pot would have effects on the body's natural endorphin system and all the other hormonal reactions that take place (typical hospital drugs - opiates - do suppress these hormonal reactions and cause a whole host of issues)
I think a drug test and an Aids test is done automatically when you go in the hospital.
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#17 of 198 Old 03-01-2008, 03:03 AM - Thread Starter
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this is a totally interesting thread..... I think the hospital regs depend on the state you are in. I think that it mj showing up in lab work is not enough to take a baby away. I actually asked my midwife (hospital midwife) about it and she said it's not a worry. I do think that there is some racial profiling to take into account and depending on who you are, it can affect the outcome.

It is too bad that it hasn't been studied to the point that most everything else has. I just know that I have enjoyed a puff here and there with both of my pregnancies and never suffered from it (neither are they). I know this is controversial stuff to some people...but hey, that's what this type of board is for!

I am going to get a license for it anyway, b/c I would never want my small amount of use to interfere with raising my children (if I were to ever get caught). Depends on the state though....I live on the LEFT coast!
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#18 of 198 Old 03-01-2008, 03:19 AM
 
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pot makes me lazy. birth is hard work! my midwife did suggest a glass of wine though.

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#19 of 198 Old 03-01-2008, 09:16 AM
 
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Three things:

I worked at a hospital in L.A. and marijuana on a tox screen was almost a nonissue...there were much bigger 'fish to try' in the population being served so a little pot mattered not to social services.

I think one of the birth stories in Spiritual Midwifery the mom used mj for some mellowing....

"Medical" marijuana is being studied for use with morning sickness...
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#20 of 198 Old 03-01-2008, 12:59 PM
 
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Someone just posted this in the news forum-

http://www.truebirth.com/2008/02/29/...hile-pregnant/
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#21 of 198 Old 03-01-2008, 04:51 PM
 
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Someone just posted this in the news forum-

http://www.truebirth.com/2008/02/29/...hile-pregnant/
that is so sad!!! does anyone know what state that's in?

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#22 of 198 Old 03-01-2008, 06:34 PM
 
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that is so sad!!! does anyone know what state that's in?
It was in Monroe, Louisiana.

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#23 of 198 Old 03-01-2008, 06:35 PM
 
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Can someone explain why weed can't contribute to low birth weight or prematurity but tobacco does?

Genuine question.

Mom of 3 sons and one daughter
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#24 of 198 Old 03-01-2008, 06:45 PM
 
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Can someone explain why weed can't contribute to low birth weight or prematurity but tobacco does?

Genuine question.
this article seems to explain it pretty well. idk of any studies about whether or not weed causes/contributes to low birth weight or not.

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#25 of 198 Old 03-01-2008, 06:56 PM
 
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from Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year by Susun Weed:
Cannabis Sativa (Marijuana) is used for STALLED LABOR, particularly if tension or emotional stress stalls labor. It can help relax the controlling mind and bring attention to the needs of the body, as well as STRENGTHEN the needed contractions. All forms of the herb are effective, but vary in potency and dosage. Smoking offers the most control over dosage, as effects are fairly immediate and dissipate within an hour or two. Cannabis tincture, 10 drops under the tongue, is also quick acting and dosage can be increased slowly as desired. The greatest risk of overdose is when using cannabis as tea (and I would assume also eating it) as the effects are slow and cumulative and several hours may pass before the full strength of the dose can be gauged. Too large a dose can cause lethargy, hallucinations, and trance-like states.
For pain she suggests motherwort, skullcap, and st. joans wort. See book for further information.
So I am guessing that mj doesn't help too much with labor pain, since it is oxytocic and used for stalled labor to strengthen contractions.
So OP, if you decide to try it out for pain management, I'd be interested in hearing what kind of results you get.
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#26 of 198 Old 03-01-2008, 07:33 PM
 
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I agree with whoever said having a glass of wine as you go into labor can help relax.

Interesting about smoking a bit of pot. I don't know... it might work. I might get too tired, though. It tends to make me want to go to sleep or just zone out. (Not bad things!)

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#27 of 198 Old 03-01-2008, 10:18 PM
 
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I think a drug test and an Aids test is done automatically when you go in the hospital.
HIV test has to have a signed informed consent. Even if I (an RN) accidentally sticks myself with a used needle I have to ask the patient if the lab can run an HIV screen and have them sign the consent. This has actually happened to me once and it's an odd topic to bring up.

An MD also has to ask for consent for an HIV screen even in the event a surgeon accidentally pokes him/herself.


A tox screen can be run if an MD suspects use.
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#28 of 198 Old 03-02-2008, 01:43 AM
 
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definitely state by state.
an mdc mama had her infant taken temporarily in tx just a couple of years ago. luckily he went to the grandparents but it was quite the ordeal.
luckily the left coast doesn't put families through that unnecessary drama.

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#29 of 198 Old 03-02-2008, 06:48 PM
 
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I am kind of surprised at the positive response to this thread... not to say that I have a negative one. I personally don't think that its a great idea to smoke anything while you are pregnant, but I know plenty of people who have and everything has turned out fine. I would be concerned about drug testing as well.
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#30 of 198 Old 03-02-2008, 11:13 PM
 
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I used to smoke quite alot before my pregnancy as well but never seriously considered it during my birth just because I'd be concerned how it would effect me since I haven't done it in so long.
My midwife did say that she would be ok with me taking a puff or 2 during labor if I wanted to because it strengthens contractions.
I don't think I'll really be into it unless my nausea and vomiting gets outta hand.
Personally I'm not so scared of being tested in the event of a hospital transfer as I am of being too paranoid in that instance.
The hospital doesn't usually do standard drug screening, only if there's reason to believe there's been drug use.
Would love to know what you finally decide and how everything goes
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