Medical Marijuana and Breastfeeding - Mothering Forums

Medical Marijuana and Breastfeeding

inpain's Avatar inpain (TS)
10:53 AM Liked: 6
#1 of 14
03-10-2014 | Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2014
Hello all,

I've been a member for a long time, but I made a new account because of the nature of this post.

I need help big time. Before you judge me please hear my story. I have been suffering from awful chronic pain for many years now, with little relief in sight. I recently had a baby and am Breastfeeding. Since the birth my pain has been nearly unbearable. I take ibuprofen and Tylenol and it helps, but I have to take a higher dose recommended by my OBGYN. It helps, but it does not take the pain away. And it's been several months of this. I am worried about what this is possibly doing to my body and my baby! Not to mention the pain is still so bad that sometimes I can barely pick my baby up. Thankfully I do have help when I need it.

I have a friend who makes MJ candy and I got some from her but I haven't tried it yet. I'm scared. I don't want to do anything that could hurt the baby but I can't help but feel like it has to be better than all these pain meds. I also cry all the time and the pain has sent me into a depression. I am in despair. Another thing is I love to baby wear and because of the pain I can't. It's awful.

I can't find much on MJ use and Breastfeeding, other than it stays in the fatty tissue and does transfer into BM. I guess no studies have been done because its considered "unethical" (even though they practically shoved oxycodone down my throat at the hospital!). Does anyone have any info for me?

It is also important to me not to be "stoned". I need to be able to care for my children. Is this possible and it still helps with the pain?

FYI, it's legal in my state, if that makes a difference to anyone.

TIA.
3lilchunklins's Avatar 3lilchunklins
11:43 AM Liked: 7447
#2 of 14
03-10-2014 | Posts: 1,615
Joined: Feb 2012
I'm not sure about candy.... but Id be willing to wager that its fine. I have known SO MANY mamas that smoke MJ while BFing, and doesn't affect their milk or baby. I would assume that candy is the same nature as "special brownies" they don't really get you high. You get a "body buzz".

Just to clear my own reputation, I don't have a problem with MJ for medical reasons, it is an herb after all.
And I only have a knowledge about it since my DH was the absolute biggest pot head EVER until 2 years ago wink1.gif
TrishWSU's Avatar TrishWSU
12:04 PM Liked: 405
#3 of 14
03-10-2014 | Posts: 2,090
Joined: Oct 2003
Wow, I didn't know you could make it into candy. I'm guessing when you eat the candy it'll be similar to having it in brownies, you'll feel its effects but not be stoned and non-functional. I wouldn't be overly worried about the part that passes through breast milk. The Tylenol and ibuprofen passes through breast milk as well and they're very hard on the liver.

And no judgment from me. I know many people who have greatly benefited from the pain relieving abilities of MJ, people who are responsible parents and professionals.
inpain's Avatar inpain (TS)
12:37 PM Liked: 6
#4 of 14
03-10-2014 | Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2014
Thank you so much, ladies. I may try it today since I won't be driving and I have help with the kids. I have a few "paranoid" questions to ask:

If I take it and find that I'm functional enough to drive, but then a get into an accident (not because of impairment), can I get in trouble for driving under the influence?

Is it totally irresponsible to drive, even if I don't feel impaired, with my kids in the car? I guess I can learn to take the bus, which might be good for me.

If I tell my doctor (naturopath) is he required to report me to child services since I am BFing? Even though it is legal in my state?

Geez, I'm already sounding paranoid and haven't even taken anything!!! Lol

Thanks so much for your comments.
3lilchunklins's Avatar 3lilchunklins
02:20 PM Liked: 7447
#5 of 14
03-10-2014 | Posts: 1,615
Joined: Feb 2012
Hmmm those IDK. I doubt your naturopath would report you. As far as driving goes, definitely make sure it doesn't effect you mentally. I doubt it would really impare you though. And its not like alcohol where they can give you a breathalizer and confirm that your under the influence. If your eyes are blood shot or they give you a sobriety test that you couldn't pass, then they may have probable cause to drug test you... I'm just supposing though. I honestly don't know. My DH would literally be high from the minute he woke up until he went to sleep, and drove stoned everday, and got random seat belt and speeding tickets, and they never tested him. Even once we got pulled over on the way home from a party, and they smelled heavy alcohol in the vehicle bc I was plastered, but they had to be sure he wasn't drinking (which he wasn't, but he was stoned out of his mind) and they let us go...
EnviroBecca's Avatar EnviroBecca
11:43 AM Liked: 2241
#6 of 14
03-14-2014 | Posts: 5,234
Joined: Jun 2002

Based on my own experience and MJ-using moms I have known, I think there's not much to worry about.  I think it's safer for you and baby than opiate drugs like oxycodone.  One way to calm your concerns would be to have another adult on hand, sober, to observe your baby before and after nursing and watch for any change in behavior.  Probably there will be none, but it will be reassuring to you to know that, and to know you're not caring for the kids solo as you experiment with this new medication.  Once you are used to it, I think it is okay to be alone with the kids, since you are aiming for pain control rather than "stoned".

 

Quote:
 If I take it and find that I'm functional enough to drive, but then a get into an accident (not because of impairment), can I get in trouble for driving under the influence?

Yes.  But only if the officer thinks you're acting oddly and gives you a test. 

Quote:
 Is it totally irresponsible to drive, even if I don't feel impaired, with my kids in the car? I guess I can learn to take the bus, which might be good for me.

If it is possible to take the bus or walk, I recommend it.  Much less stressful.  Especially when the kids are there to distract you.

Quote:
 If I tell my doctor (naturopath) is he required to report me to child services since I am BFing? Even though it is legal in my state?

I would guess that it is not, but research the laws in your state.

 

I live in a state where it is NOT legal for medicinal use, but when my son was 11 months old and still BFing and I needed foot surgery, I was honest with the anesthesiologist that I had been smoking MJ about once a week for several months.  He must not have reported it because I never had any trouble as a result.

 

3LilChunklins wrote:

Quote:
 I would assume that candy is the same nature as "special brownies" they don't really get you high.

Uhh, that depends on the batch of brownies (or other food) and your metabolism.  It is harder to control the level of high when you eat MJ than when you inhale it, because the smoke/vapor affects your brain within seconds so you can decide when you've had enough and then stop, whereas when you've eaten it you won't feel anything for at least 15 minutes but then the high will go up to wherever it's going and you can't stop it.  I once had 1/4 of a cookie my friend had purchased at a medical dispensary in California, and for 3 hours I was SCARY high.  Another time I had almost as dramatic an experience after eating a brownie from the same batch I'd sampled previously but not taking into account that I'd had a massive nosebleed earlier in the day so had a reduced blood volume in which the drug would circulate.  (I was not breastfeeding at those times!)  For medicinal use, I think it is better to inhale so you can better regulate the dosage; if you have to eat it, eat a small dose at a time and give it at least an hour before you decide it wasn't enough.

 

:Hug I hope you find a good solution to your pain!


3lilchunklins's Avatar 3lilchunklins
11:56 AM Liked: 7447
#7 of 14
03-14-2014 | Posts: 1,615
Joined: Feb 2012
It might depend on how much you do it. The more often the more your body gets used to it, and needs more for the same effect. Its a tolerance thing.
Also depends on how good the stuff is. Better = higher THC (hydro would definitely have a much stronger effect)
prescottchels's Avatar prescottchels
11:35 PM Liked: 235
#8 of 14
03-15-2014 | Posts: 1,605
Joined: Jun 2007

I can speak from the perspective of the child in utero, BF'd & raised in an MJ smoker home. My mom smoked MJ throughout her pregnancy to keep her morning sickness at bay, which was probably just a good excuse to keep smoking cuz she already had been before getting pregnant lol I turned out fine. Graduated high school & college and at 37 have yet to smoke a joint or anything else for that matter. Both my parents and lots of their friends and lots of our family smoked together in front of me. We were never in any car accidents or questioned about pot use by authorities. The only thing I didn't like about it as a kid was the secrecy. It was normal for us, but I understood even at a very young age that it wasn't status quo for everyone, and every time someone knocked on the door there was a mad dash to hide the bong, or put out the joint...  I also blamed my mom's inability to be emotionally present w/me on the pot, but that could just be her personality, but and she was very stoned all the time my whole childhood and adolescence. 

So, with all that....I think medicinal use is fine and you sound like you'll be overly cautious about it until you learn how it effects you. I say try it even while BF'ing. I think it's much easier on your body and kidneys than heavy pain med use. 


mamabear7's Avatar mamabear7
08:42 AM Liked: 338
#9 of 14
03-16-2014 | Posts: 545
Joined: Nov 2013

I think that mj would be a very good form of medication for you.  In my opinion it is much better  than anything synthetic because well not to sound overly hippy, but mother earth grows it... not designs or makes it in a lab.  Echinacea is great for boosting your immune system, red raspberry leaf tones and strengthens the uterus, chamomile is great for relaxation and sleep enhancement, St. John's Wort regulates mood.  If MJ was actually recognized as a medicine I bet we'd be using it a whole lot more for holistic and natural medications.  It is great for pain.  Ask your friend if she is using the right plant for pain management.  Some different species are better for managing different ailments.  Also ask her to start out with a weaker dosage.  I have to admit also... my mom had five children and with all five smoked through pregnancy and breastfeeding.  We all turned out to be well rounded healthy people for the most part.  Good luck with your decision and do not feel guilty about it.  Anything that makes you feel guilty you probably shouldn't do.  There was actually a study done by Melanie or Meghan Dreher I believe her name is; you can google it... she did a 20 year study in Jamaica and a large part of her study was marijuana and the effects on mothers and children.  The conclusion of the study was that the children whose mothers used mj throughout childhood, pregnancy, and into their 20th year turned out to be more well rounded happy people...  I'm not sure why, maybe because their mom's were less stressed.


inpain's Avatar inpain (TS)
04:36 PM Liked: 6
#10 of 14
03-21-2014 | Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2014
I apologize for just now replying. I'm on often as my real username and kept forgetting to sign in as my "alias" lol.

I did end up trying some MJ candy. At the dosage that didn't get me stoned it did nothing but make me spacey and tired. :-/ I'm going to try some chocolates another friend makes. If that doesn't work maybe I will try and smoke it. I had high hopes so I'm a little disappointed. :-(
TrishWSU's Avatar TrishWSU
12:12 AM Liked: 405
#11 of 14
03-22-2014 | Posts: 2,090
Joined: Oct 2003
You could try a vaporizer instead of smoking it. I know for me personally I don't get stoned feeling when I vape. I just feel relaxed and mellow but not out of it.

When I've ingested it before (in brownies) I really didn't feel anything.
inpain's Avatar inpain (TS)
08:14 AM Liked: 6
#12 of 14
04-01-2014 | Posts: 4
Joined: Mar 2014

Hello all!

 

I thought I would let you know what happened. I was taking my friend's candy for a while but that wasn't really cutting it. I found out that my doctor prescribes it, so I got a script and went to a dispensary. I got a vaporizer. This stuff helps with the pain a lot but I do get a little more "stoned" than I would like, not in a way that makes me unable to care for my kids but in a way that makes me feel kind of dense. I could probably drive, but I don't, especially with the kids. I still take a little bit of tylenol but not as much as before and no advil.

 

I want to be happy and grateful but to be honest I just wish I didn't need anything! I feel like a bit of a loser being "stoned" mommy, even though because of the strain it's not like I'm in a stupor, I just can't remember stuff and my mind is fuzzy. I'm a lot nicer to my 4yo which is a big plus. 

 

I can't seem to get over the guilt and shame of having to take this route. Even though it's legal here I feel like I'm breaking the law. When I was a kid I smoked a ton of pot and also did other drugs. But for twenty years I have been drug free. I don't even drink!! I'm so straight edge now. And here I am.

 

Sorry for my pity party!! I'm working on being more grateful. :-)


mamabear7's Avatar mamabear7
08:37 AM Liked: 338
#13 of 14
04-01-2014 | Posts: 545
Joined: Nov 2013

:HugDon't be sorry.  You need to tell someone.   I think that it is important to think of it not as a recreational drug but a medicine that at this time you need to function and enjoy life.  You are not using marijuana to have fun and be a stoner, or because you can't stand your kids or any nonsense like that.  It is a medicine that your doctor prescribed and you need.  It is much better than other routes you could have taken.  It should be medicinally acceptable everywhere, but we are making strides hopefully.  Just try to enjoy life, play with your babies, and be grateful for the plant's medicinal qualities.  You aren't sitting in your room chugging down a pint of whiskey or smoking a crack pipe yelling at your kids through the door.  You sound like a great mom!! Don't be guilty or ashamed.  You are a good person!


EnviroBecca's Avatar EnviroBecca
01:03 PM Liked: 2241
#14 of 14
04-01-2014 | Posts: 5,234
Joined: Jun 2002
Try to get over the guilt, relax, even enjoy it. You are NOT a bad mom.

My mom had bone spurs in her neck that caused severe pain, when I was in elementary school. Every day was planned around completing her driving errands so that she could have a stiff drink when she got home, because alcohol helped more than any pain drug and she was able to cope with its effects and still cook dinner without cutting or burning herself--unlike the prescription muscle relaxants she tried. My brother and I agree she was absolutely a responsible parent.
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