CBD Oil and Nursing
The use of CBD during breastfeeding is a controversial topic. This is because CBD can pass from the mother’s milk to the baby. Not enough research has been done yet to determine whether or not CBD causes harmful effects in babies. Therefore, professional organizations such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists do not recommend that new mothers use CBD while nursing.
However, CBD can offer many benefits for women who have just had a baby because CBD can relieve many common postpartum symptoms and conditions.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil comes from the cannabis plant. The CBD is extracted from the plant and added to a carrier oil, usually hemp seed oil. The user can then add the oil to food or place it under the tongue.
CBD is one of the many cannabinoids found in the hemp plant, and it offers an array of health benefits, especially for postpartum women. Unlike with tetrahydrocannabinol, CBD does not make the user “high.” Instead, the CBD cannabinoids can help with post-pregnancy symptoms such as insomnia, mood disorders, and even pain.
Use of CBD Oil After Pregnancy
After a baby has been born, there are many reasons a new mother may wish to use CBD. Because she must now change some of her daily habits, she may experience undesirable side effects such as anxiety and trouble sleeping. CBD can help ease these effects without the problems of prescription medications.
Postpartum depression in women who have recently given birth is as common as left-handedness is in the general population. This depression affects one in 10 women. They may experience spells of crying, mood swings, and insomnia after the birth of the baby.
This depression usually begins just a few days after birth, and it can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to more long term. Rarely, a mother may develop postpartum psychosis, which is a very severe form of depression. CBD can help ease symptoms of depression in new mothers.
Many women will experience some form of anxiety in the weeks following birth. A few symptoms mothers may experience include racing thoughts, constant worry, and an inability to concentrate. Some new mothers may also experience panic attacks, which come on very quickly and are characterized by an intense feeling of terror.
Because a new mother must get up several times at night to feed her baby, she can find it difficult to fall asleep afterward. Insomnia may also be caused by neurological changes as the woman adjusts to being a mother.
CBD can help with sleeping issues because it has a calming and relaxing effect. Now, CBD users can purchase CBD products that also contain melatonin, which helps put the body in a state of restfulness before bedtime. Studies have shown that people who take CBD can experience a deeper, more restful sleep. They reported waking up feeling more refreshed than those who did not use CBD.
New babies can also experience anxiety. Some mothers may choose to consume CBD, so it and its calming effects will pass through the breast milk to the baby.
Many women will experience some pain in the days and even weeks following birth. This pain may feel like contractions or cramps. Many of these pains are caused by the uterus shrinking back to its normal size. This pain is most common in women who have already had at least one baby before. Often, this pain comes during breastfeeding because the body produces more hormones to shrink the uterus during this time.
CBD has been shown many times to be an effective pain reliever. It can change the way the brain responds to pain signals so that the new mother will feel less pain.
Is CBD Oil Safe for Breastfeeding?
More research is needed on whether or not CBD oil is safe for breastfeeding mothers to use. What is known is that CBD can pass from breast milk to the baby. However, what is not known is how that will affect the baby in the long term.
Part of the reason for this lack of research is because ethically, researchers cannot give babies CBD. Animal studies are not always useful in determining the effects of CBD, and it is challenging to test long-term effects on animals. The other reason research on CBD is lacking is because many existing studies on cannabis products focus on the use of marijuana because many pregnant women do smoke marijuana in pregnancy.
Marijuana Use in Pregnancy
While the effects of CBD in pregnancy remain widely unknown, medical marijuana is a different story. Studies done on women who smoked marijuana during pregnancy found that the THC content led to several problems in both the baby and the mother. This is because THC can cross the placental barrier and reach the baby in the womb.
- Low Birth Weight: Marijuana may prevent the baby from getting as many nutrients in the womb. It may also lead to the baby being born too early.
- Faintness or Dizziness in Mother: Some expectant mothers who used marijuana during pregnancy were more likely to feel faint or dizzy. This can make them more likely to fall or injure themselves.
- Neurodevelopmental Issues: Studies of mothers who smoked marijuana during pregnancy showed that once the child reaches 4 or 5 years of age, he or she may suffer from developmental issues. These children had more trouble concentrating, paying attention, and controlling impulses.
- Mental Disorders: In adulthood, children of mothers who used marijuana in pregnancy were more likely to suffer from mental disorders.
- Substance Abuse: Other studies have shown that children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy were more likely to abuse drugs during the teen years.
If a pregnant or breastfeeding woman feels that she cannot stop using marijuana, there are resources to help, such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s helpline.
Marijuana Use in Breastfeeding
After a woman has given birth, the THC in marijuana can be passed to her child, which can cause many of the problems listed above. Another problem of using marijuana while breastfeeding is that it can cause a mother’s body to produce less milk for the child. Mothers who are new to breastfeeding may especially struggle to produce enough milk in the first place, and so using marijuana is not a good idea for that reason alone.
Alternatives to CBD
There are several more natural ways a new mother can help ease her symptoms without using CBD.
Warm milk is known for helping people fall asleep at night. Bubble baths in the evening and relaxing foot massages can also both help women fall asleep in the evening. If these things are not working, women can talk to their doctors about using over-the-counter or prescription medications that are safe for breastfeeding.
Depression and Anxiety
Therapy can go a long way toward helping new mothers who are suffering from anxiety or depression. Taking care of themselves can also help mothers feel better. However, if they are still not feeling better, they can talk to their doctors about anti-anxiety or antidepressants that may help them feel better sooner.
Finding Safe Products
If a new mother does choose to use CBD during breastfeeding, it is essential for her to find the highest quality products available, because everything she ingests will go to her baby as well. It is best to choose CBD products with lower doses during breastfeeding. THC can remain in breast milk for up to six days after use, so it is best to choose CBD products that have no THC content. Products from reputable companies that are labeled CBD isolate contain only CBD and nothing else.
Hemp Bombs CBD Oil
For new mothers looking for an affordable option, Hemp Bombs still offers high-quality products. They send all their products to a third-party lab for testing. The lab tests the products for toxins such as heavy metals and pesticides. The lab also verifies the cannabidiol content of each product to ensure each one has been accurately labeled.
This company offers CBD in lower concentrations, which is perfect for mothers who are nursing. The company sends off a sample from each batch they make so it can be tested.
CBDistillery CBD Gummies
While each of CBDistillery’s gummies has a little higher potency than breastfeeding mothers should use, they can cut each gummy in half. This way, they will only be taking 15 mg at a time instead of 30 mg at a time. These CBD gummies are a good option for mothers who are breastfeeding because CBDistillery offers gummies with CBD isolate. This means the gummies will not contain any traces of THC, which is known to be harmful to babies.
The Bottom Line
Breastfeeding women have many reasons to use CBD to help ease postpartum symptoms. However, research on the safety and long-term effects of these products are lacking, and many professional organizations do not recommend using them.