Is cbd oil safe for breastfeeding moms

Can I Take CBD While Breastfeeding? Is It Safe?

There are a lot of reasons why a new mother may want to use cannabidiol (CBD) supplements after giving birth.

Some of the most common reasons include anxiety, postpartum depression, pain, or insomnia — all of which are more common in the first few weeks after giving birth while adjusting to the many changes in routines.

It’s important to remember that any of the CBD you take while breastfeeding will result in the transmission of some of that CBD to the baby.

Some mothers will take CBD or other supplements for their baby — especially for excessive crying and aggravation or to address inflammatory conditions the baby may be experiencing.

In this article, we’ll cover the most popular reasons why a mother may want to use CBD for herself or her baby — and discuss the safety around using CBD and other related cannabinoids while breastfeeding.

Potential Uses of CBD While Breastfeeding

There are many reasons a woman may consider using CBD while breastfeeding. This is a delicate time in a woman’s life because, for many, it marks the start of a new phase of life. This can be stressful for many new moms, as it forces them to change many of their daily routines and habits.

This change can negatively affect sleeping patterns, stress levels, and much more, leading to symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia — all of which can be addressed by CBD.

Additionally, one of the best ways to deliver active compounds to a baby is through =breast milk. So whether you’re taking the supplement for yourself (leading to dosing of the baby as a side-effect), or dosing yourself as a side-effect to dosing the baby — the results will be the same.

Here’s a breakdown of the most common reasons a woman may want to use CBD while breastfeeding, and how CBD may provide some relief for those symptoms.

1. Sleeping Issues

Insomnia is both a symptom and a condition. It’s one of the most common health conditions in the world, especially among new parents.

There are many causes for postpartum insomnia, such as the frequent waking in the night to feed your baby as well as the widespread neurological changes happening as your body adjusts to a new lifestyle.

Babies are less likely to experience insomnia, but this is still entirely possible.

CBD is an excellent supplement for use with insomnia because of its sedative and relaxing effects.

Studies have shown that people taking doses larger than 200 mg of CBD can fall asleep sooner, stay asleep longer, and report feeling more refreshed the following morning than the control group taking nothing to help their sleep.

2. Depression

Postpartum depression is common — affecting roughly one in ten women. This condition can range in its severity — some women experiencing minor symptoms for a few weeks after giving birth; others can progress to chronic depression lasting several years.

CBD offers some unique benefits towards depression — however, you should always consult with your doctor before using anything to support depression — even herbal supplements, including CBD. There are several different causes for this condition, so it’s essential to understand the cause before you start taking anything.

With that said, CBD does offer some powerful benefits to different causes of depression. There are also a few phase 2 clinical trials currently underway investigating the effects of CBD for different types of depression.

3. Anxiety

Around 4–11% of women during the postpartum period are diagnosed with anxiety — but many more remain undiagnosed. The fact of the matter is that anxiety is common among new parents in general, but especially women in the first few weeks immediately preceding the birth.

Some babies can experience different forms of anxiety — characterized by excessive crying, lack of sleep.

The most common cause of infant anxiety is anxious or stressed parents — babies are receptive to emotions. CBD is useful for anxiety-related symptoms because it’s able to enhance the binding ability of a neurotransmitter known as GABA — GABA essentially acts as the brake pedal for the nervous system. When we start moving too fast (such as during an anxiety attack), GABA works to slow down neurological activity and help us relax.

Top-Rated CBD Oils For New Mothers

Not all CBD is created equal. There’s a significant degree of difference when it comes to the quality of different CBD products.

If using this supplement while breastfeeding, it’s essential to find something as high quality as possible, and preferably in lower potency.

Here Are Our Top 3 Recommended Products That Fit That Criteria:

1. Royal CBD Oil (250 mg Bottle)

Get 15% off all Royal CBD products. Use code “CFAH” at checkout.

Royal CBD is a leader in manufacturing premium CBD oils — offering high-quality products made using organically-grown American hemp. A sample from each batch produced by this company is sent to independent labs for testing. This is used to prove the quality and safety of every bottle sold.

This company prefers to keep things simple, offering three key potencies to suit the needs of people using low-doses (such as breastfeeding mothers), moderate, and high doses(for more severe symptom management).

I would recommend going with the lower potency option (250 mg per ounce) — as it’s better to use lower potencies of CBD while breastfeeding — especially if you’ve never used CBD before.

2. Hemp Bombs CBD Oil (300 mg Bottle)

Hemp Bombs isn’t as well-known for the quality of oils as a manufacturer like Royal — however, they do a great job of providing excellent quality on a large scale. This company sells every form of CBD you can imagine, from CBD oils and capsules to more obscure products like CBD syrups and tattoo ointments.

In general, Hemp Bombs is going to offer more affordable CBD options and the cost of some of the quality. With that being said, these products are still sent through the same quality control standards as the other top-rated brands on our list. They provide third-party testing on their oils, which assess the product for heavy metal contamination, pesticide and solvent residues, and measure the product for its cannabinoid levels.

3. CBDistillery CBD Gummies

CBDistillery is a Colorado-based company with a diverse product lineup. Out of all their products, my favorite is their CBD gummies — which come in three primary forms; full-spectrum, isolate, and nighttime formula (containing melatonin).

I recommend starting with the isolate-based CBD gummies as they’re designed to be completely free from THC and other cannabinoids.

At 30 mg per gummy, the dose may be a little high for some users, and too high for breastfeeding mothers just starting. The reason I included this product on the list is that as a gummy, it’s easy to split the dose into two 15 mg halves. You can even split the gummy into thirds if you want a lower 10 mg dose of CBD instead.

Look For CBD Oils with Third-Party Testing

Should you decide to use CBD post-pregnancy, here are some of the top-rated CBD brands to look out for.

It’s critical that if you’re using CBD anywhere near infants that the oils are confirmed to be free from heavy metal contaminants, pesticides, or solvents that may have been leftover from the manufacturing process.

Although CBD itself isn’t thought to be unsafe for infants, these compounds most certainly are and should be avoided at all costs.

Low-quality CBD products often contain contaminants, so it’s vital that you find a high-quality manufacturer that provided transparency through third-party testing with all of their products.

I recommend going with a company like Royal CBD when shopping for products online. This is an excellent example of a company with strong integrity for keeping harmful compounds out of their oils — and keeping everything transparent for every batch.

This company does extensive testing throughout the manufacturing process, before finally sending a sample for the final product off to an independent lab for testing.

Third-party labs provide a non-biased analysis of products to look for everything from heavy metals and pesticides, to microbial contaminants such as bacteria and fungi. They also have the cannabinoid levels tested to ensure the THC content is well below the safe threshold of 0.3%.

Is CBD Safe to Use While Breastfeeding?

Now that we know why someone may consider using CBD while breastfeeding, here comes the big question — is it safe for the baby?

Some substances will transfer from the bloodstream into the breast milk, which will of course, then go on to affect the baby.

Breast Milk is high in fatty substances, so compounds that dissolve in fat will transfer into breast milk much easier than water-soluble compounds.

CBD is a fat-soluble compound, meaning that it will easily transfer through breast milk and into the baby’s digestive tract. Of course, the amount that transfers into the breast milk is minimal, but enough that it’s something we need to consider before giving the green light.

So how does CBD affect babies?

Research is Limited & Opinions Vary

Unfortunately, there’s almost no research currently available exploring the interaction between CBD supplementation in babies.

Older research exploring the interaction of other cannabinoids like THC has shown less than ideal results.

THC is considered unsafe for babies, so psychoactive forms of cannabis such as marijuana, THC-oils, or pharmaceutical preparations containing THC or THC-derivatives should be avoided while breastfeeding.

But CBD is another story altogether.

This compound isn’t psychoactive and doesn’t have the same interaction with neurotransmitters in the brain like serotonin — which is one of the main reasons why THC is not advised for babies or small children.

CBD works through entirely different mechanisms, acting as more of a balancing agent — helping to support homeostasis within the body rather than pushing the body in one direction or another.

What the Experts Say

Doctors’ opinions on the use of CBD in infants will vary. Most doctors err on the side of avoiding the substance due to the lack of research to prove the substance is safe.

On the other hand, this is a problem we face with many supplements and medications.

Just because we don’t have the research to prove something is safe, doesn’t mean it’s dangerous — so some doctors will exhibit caution while using supplements with small children and babies as long as there are no obvious signs that the supplement may be dangerous.

Despite many women using CBD while breastfeeding, there are virtually no reports of any direct consequences of this practice.

No negative case studies and certainly no clinical trials showing a negative effect have surfaced to date. This suggests the substance is safe to use while breastfeeding — but demands close observation by a pediatrician to keep an eye out for any signs of trouble.

There are even some studies showing CBD safe for small children (not infants) — even in high doses while being used to treat seizure disorders.

Moderation & Observation is Key

It’s at your own discretion and the discretion of your doctor to decide whether or not CBD is the right supplement for you — especially while breastfeeding.

We recommend you mention your intentions to your doctor to get their opinion. Depending on why you want to use CBD, your doctor may give you the okay — especially if the benefits of the supplement outweigh any slight negatives.

However, even if your doctor does give you the okay to start using CBD while you continue to breastfeed, they’ll likely recommend you to keep it in moderation.

Use the oils to support symptom flare-ups to help make your life more comfortable, but it’s best to avoid the supplement when you don’t need it.

Final Thoughts: Is CBD Safe While Breastfeeding?

There are many reasons why someone may choose to use CBD — from sleeping issues and anxiety to depression and inflammation.

Any of the CBD you take while breastfeeding can make its way into breast milk, and therefore your baby.

There are no clear indications that CBD is unsafe for babies — especially compared to some of the other cannabinoids like THC, which have been proven to be unsafe for newborns and young children.

Nevertheless, CBD still hasn’t been proven safe either — which is why many doctors err on the side of avoiding the supplement.

If you choose to use CBD supplements for yourself or to treat your baby through breast milk, we highly recommend first consulting with your doctor to discuss your intentions.

Have you used CBD while breastfeeding? What was your experience like? Leave your comments below.

References

  1. Russo, E. B., Guy, G. W., & Robson, P. J. (2007, August 1). Cannabis, pain, and sleep: Lessons from therapeutic clinical trials of sativexρ, a cannabis-based medicine. Chemistry and Biodiversity. Wiley-Blackwell. https://doi.org/10.1002/cbdv.200790150
  2. O’hara, M. W., & Swain, A. M. (1996). Rates and risk of postpartum depression—a meta-analysis. International review of psychiatry, 8(1), 37-54.
  3. R de Mello Schier, A., P de Oliveira Ribeiro, N., S Coutinho, D., Machado, S., Arias-Carrión, O., A Crippa, J., … & C Silva, A. (2014). Antidepressant-like and anxiolytic-like effects of cannabidiol: a chemical compound of Cannabis sativa. CNS & Neurological Disorders-Drug Targets (Formerly Current Drug Targets-CNS & Neurological Disorders), 13(6), 953-960.
  4. Misri, S., Abizadeh, J., Sanders, S., & Swift, E. (2015). Perinatal generalized anxiety disorder: assessment and treatment. Journal of Women’s Health, 24(9), 762
  5. Banerjee, S. P., Snyder, S. H., & Mechoulam, R. A. P. H. A. E. L. (1975). Cannabinoids: influence on neurotransmitter uptake in rat brain synaptosomes. Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, 194(1), 74-81.
  6. Bakas, T., Van Nieuwenhuijzen, P. S., Devenish, S. O., McGregor, I. S., Arnold, J. C., & Chebib, M. (2017). The direct actions of cannabidiol and 2-arachidonoyl glycerol at GABAA receptors. Pharmacological research, 119, 358-370.
  7. Campbell, C. T., Phillips, M. S., & Manasco, K. (2017). Cannabinoids in pediatrics. The Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 22(3), 176-185.
Livvy Ashton

Livvy is a registered nurse (RN) and board-certified nurse midwife (CNM) in the state of New Jersey. After giving birth to her newborn daughter, Livvy stepped down from her full-time position at the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. This gave her the opportunity to spend more time writing articles on all topics related to pregnancy and prenatal care.

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What You Should Know About Using Cannabis, Including CBD, When Pregnant or Breastfeeding

FDA strongly advises against the use of cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and marijuana in any form during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

Cannabis and Cannabis-derived products have become increasingly available in recent years, with new and different types of products appearing all the time. These products raise questions and concerns for many consumers. And if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you might have even more questions about whether these products are safe for you.

FDA strongly advises against the use of cannabidiol (CBD), tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and marijuana in any form during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

What are cannabis, marijuana, hemp, THC and CBD?

Cannabis is a plant of the Cannabaceae family and contains more than eighty biologically active chemical compounds. The most commonly known compounds are THC and CBD. One type of cannabis plant is marijuana, which contains varying levels of THC, the compound that produces the “high” that is often associated with marijuana. Another type of cannabis plant is hemp. Hemp plants contain extremely low amounts of THC. CBD, which does not produce a “high,” can be derived from either marijuana or hemp.

We are now seeing CBD-containing products everywhere. CBD can be found in many different products, like drugs, foods, products marketed as dietary supplements, and cosmetics. These products often make questionable health promises about CBD.

FDA wants you to know there may be serious risks to using cannabis products, including those containing CBD, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

What do we know about the effects of marijuana use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding?

There are many potential negative health effects from using marijuana and other products containing THC during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. In fact, the U.S. Surgeon General recently advised consumers that marijuana use during pregnancy may affect fetal brain development, because THC can enter the fetal brain from the mother’s bloodstream. The Surgeon General also advised that marijuana may increase the risk of a newborn with low birth weight. Research also suggests increased risk for premature birth and potentially stillbirth 1 .

While breastfeeding, it is important to know that breastmilk can contain THC for up to six days after use. This THC may affect a newborn’s brain development and result in hyperactivity, poor cognitive function, and other long-term consequences.

Additionally, marijuana smoke contains many of the same harmful components as tobacco smoke. Neither marijuana nor tobacco products should be smoked around a baby or children.

What do we know about the effects of CBD use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding?

There is no comprehensive research studying the effects of CBD on the developing fetus, pregnant mother, or breastfed baby. FDA is continuing to collect and study the data on the possible harmful effects of CBD during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. However, based on what we do know, there is significant cause for concern.

High doses of CBD in pregnant test animals have caused problems with the reproductive system of developing male fetuses 2 . In addition, based on what we already know about CBD, we expect that some amount of CBD will be transferred to babies through breast milk.

We also know that there is a potential for CBD products to be contaminated with substances that may pose a risk to the fetus or breastfed baby, including THC. We have also heard reports of CBD potentially containing other contaminants (e.g., pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria, and fungus); we are investigating this.

Moreover, CBD has known risks for people in general. Based on clinical studies in humans, risks can include the following:

  • liver toxicity (damage)
  • extreme sleepiness
  • harmful interactions with other drugs

FDA is studying the effects of CBD use from different angles, such as: (1) the use of CBD-containing products, like food, cosmetics, or supplements, over a person’s entire life; and (2) the effects of using these various products in combination. There are many unanswered questions about the science, safety, and quality of products containing CBD.

We especially want to learn more about the effects of CBD during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, including, for example, whether and to what extent the presence of CBD in human milk harms the breastfed baby or the mother’s milk production.

Has FDA approved any CBD products and are there any benefits?

FDA has not approved any CBD products except for one prescription drug to treat rare, severe forms of seizure disorders in children. It is still unclear whether CBD has any other benefits.

Other than the one approved prescription drug, CBD products have not been evaluated or approved by FDA for use as drug products. This means that we do not know:

  • if they are safe and effective to treat a particular disease
  • what, if any, dosage may be considered safe
  • how they could interact with other drugs or foods
  • whether they have dangerous side effects or other safety concerns

The clinical studies that supported the approval of the one available CBD drug product identified risks related to the use of CBD, including liver toxicity (damage), extreme sleepiness, and harmful interactions with other drugs.

What about hemp seeds?

FDA recently completed an evaluation of some hemp seed-derived food ingredients and had no objections to the use of these ingredients in foods. THC and CBD are found mainly in hemp flowers, leaves, and stems, not in hemp seeds. Hemp seeds can pick up miniscule amounts of THC and CBD from contact with other plant parts, but these amounts are low enough to not raise concerns for any group, including pregnant or breastfeeding mothers.

What should you remember about using cannabis or cannabis-derived products?

If you are considering using cannabis, or any products containing THC or CBD, you should be aware of the following:

  • FDA strongly advises that during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, you avoid using CBD, THC, or marijuana in any form.
  • Although many of these products are being sold, FDA has not approved these products, other than one prescription CBD drug product and two prescription drug products containing dronabinol, a synthetic version of THC (which are approved to treat certain side effects of HIV-AIDS or chemotherapy). All three of these prescription products have associated risks and side effects.
  • Always talk with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist before taking any medicines, vitamins, or herbs while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Do not put yourself or your baby at risk by using cannabis products while pregnant or breastfeeding. Check out these links to learn more about cannabis, marijuana, CBD, and THC, and about taking medicines while you are pregnant.

Taking CBD While Breastfeeding Poses Risks—Here’s What You Need to Know

Jill is a contributing writer for Byrdie where she covers fragrance and wellness. Her work has appeard in The Los Angeles Times, Refinery 29, NYLON, Milk Media, VICE, Salon, Bustle, Modern Luxury, Autre, and Angeleno.

Dana Myers, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker and life coach based in Philadelphia. She has a special interest in how race, sex, gender, ethnicity, social status and competencies impact those in marginalized communities and aims to help her clients find purpose and peace in life.

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In This Article

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is everywhere, from topical salves to tinctures. The so-called organic Xanax is being touted by wellness enthusiasts as a panacea to pain, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Nature’s supposed cure-all might seem like a miracle treatment to sleep-deprived, delirious new mothers, especially those who are breastfeeding and feeling energetically depleted. But despite the widespread availability of CBD, as of 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved one CBD drug, leaving many questions around its safety for breastfeeding mothers unanswered. What may seem like natural stress relief to help navigate the many mental and physical challenges of motherhood, especially in trying times, might end up exposing your child to risks that research has yet to uncover.

Nursing offers an unparalleled host of benefits to both mother and child. According to a comprehensive 2013 review, the nutritional, immunological, and anti-inflammatory properties of breastmilk provide health advantages to a nursing baby, including reduced risks of asthma, obesity, type 2 diabetes, ear and respiratory infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Nursing mothers experience a lowered risk of disease, including hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and ovarian and breast cancer, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But that’s not all. Breastfeeding is credited with positive psychosocial outcomes, most noticeably through the bond that develops between mother and child. As such, leading organizations from the American Academy of Pediatrics to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists endorse breastfeeding for at least 12 months of a child’s life. Such consensus around the benefits of breastfeeding have resulted in an uptick in mothers who nurse, with the CDC reporting 58.3% of infants breastfeeding at 6 months in 2017.

Increased duration of breastfeeding does, however, extend the postpartum period, which, as you probably know, may result in fatigue, interrupted sleep, and the emotional pressure that can accompany feeding a little one 24/7. As wonderful as breastfeeding may be, it can also be overwhelming, leaving nursing mothers exhausted and in need of relief; after all, being a source of unconditional comfort is draining. Widely available CBD might seem like a godsend, offering an instant feeling of calm without a hangover or any of the psychoactive effects of marijuana. But here’s the rub: Even though CBD is natural, we don’t yet know how CBD affects a developing baby and child, and what the longterm effects might be to a baby who has been exposed to CBD through breastmilk.

Ahead, our experts help us sift through what we do know about using CBD when breastfeeding, so nursing mothers can make informed choices.

Meet the Expert

  • Natalie Geary, MD, is a pediatric and family doctor based in Miami and New York and the founder and Medical Director of vedaHEALTH and vedaPURE. A Harvard trained physician, Geary integrates Ayurvedic and allopathic medicine in her practice.
  • A celebrity wellness maven and birth doula, Latham Thomas is the founder of Mama Glow, a global maternal health and doula education company, instructing doula-trainees from around the world. Thomas is a graduate of Columbia University and Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and author of two best-selling books, Own Your Glow: A Soulful Guide to Luminous Living and Crowning The Queen Within and Mama Glow: A Hip Guide to Your Fabulous Abundant Pregnancy.

What the Data Says About CBD and Breastfeeding

There is a lack of published research on the safety of using CBD while breastfeeding. Most of the data surrounds maternal use of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), derived from marijuana. However, CBD and THC are both classified as cannabinoids, which the data suggests enters breastmilk after maternal consumption:

A 2018 study surrounding THC and breastfeeding, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, indicates that THC is measurable in breastmilk for up to six days after maternal marijuana use. Cannabinoids love to adhere to fat, and breastmilk is viscous as it contains long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids.

This means you can’t pump and feel confident the CBD is out of your system, like you might after say, drinking a glass of wine. “CBD takes longer to metabolize and process through the body than alcohol,” says Thomas. “We know that cannabinoids stick to the fatty parts of breast milk and hang out longer.

Geary adds, “Every mother’s metabolism is different; the absorption into the blood stream is different, and the actual dosage of the CBD listed is not considered accurate or reliable.” She also brings up a point about the lack of regulation surrounding CBD products. In March of 2020, the FDA issued a statement promising to advance regulatory practices of CBD, admitting wide gaps in data and a lack of market transparency. The same report notes, “we are also not at a point where we can conclude that unapproved CBD products are safe for use.” Thomas adds that for reliable data, we’ll need to evaluate a couple thousand people over at least 15 years. Current data doesn’t meet either of those criteria.

Topical vs. Ingestible Use of CBD When Breastfeeding

When it comes to topical versus ingestible use of CBD, again, there’s a dearth of data on the longterm effects. However, Thomas says that topical CBD products are a bit safer because CBD isn’t entering your bloodstream in the same way. “Postpartum women might apply a CBD salve to a scar, achy muscles, or to ease sore nipples,” explains Thomas, adding that you should make sure to clean nipples before your baby latches.

Thomas warns to be skeptical of CBD products that are inexpensive. Seek out reputable brands that use conscious farming practices. “None of this stuff is cheap,” she says. “This is an expensive process.”

She says it’s crucial, however, that you bring the product you intend on using to your health care provider and discuss its use before trying it out. She also says it’s important to realize if you choose to use CBD topically when breastfeeding, it’s still considered experimental. “Never feel forced to use something just because you bought it,” she adds.

Risks of Using CBD When Breastfeeding

One reason you might think CBD is safe for nursing mothers is the fact that mother’s milk naturally contains cannabinoids, similar to CBD. These cannabinoids may help stimulate a newborn’s appetite. In fact, they work on the same receptors that are activated when people get the munchies from consuming THC. However, don’t assume a case of “the more the merrier,” says Thomas. Geary, too, warns there’s a big difference between what the body produces naturally and the “artificially imported chemicals” in commercial CBD. She adds, “Women have been breastfeeding forever. Mother’s milk contains no impurities, no chemicals or pesticides, and no chance of an overdose.”

CBD remains out of the purview of the FDA, leaving each company or brand in control of monitoring the product’s safety. “Some companies are able to afford testing and studies,” says Thomas. “Others aren’t.”

Geary adds, “A very real problem is that the products are unregulated and may be contaminated with harmful chemicals—such as pesticides, bacteria, fungus, and heavy metals—which can harm the fetus or baby.”

Geary (who notes that as a pediatrician with a license to provide medical marijuana —CBD and THC products—she’s not an anti-marijuana doctor), says using CBD when breastfeeding just isn’t a safe gamble. “During the time of the developing fetus, through until age three years of life, the infant’s brain reaches 80% of its full adult volume. Any unnecessary exposure, especially in those vulnerable first three years, is worth considering very seriously.”

Final Thoughts

Until we have more evidence, Geary says women who are expecting or breastfeeding should definitely err on the side of caution and avoid cannabis in all forms.

Try to use nursing sessions as a time to pause and reset, letting the oxytocin that’s released during breastfeeding help you enter a state of calm. Play soothing music or a guided meditation, practice deep breathing, and remember that this stage of life is temporary.

Thomas adds that although CBD can seem like a “pathway to self-care,” it’s only one of many wellness tools. She urges women to get to the “root of the stress or anxiety on the road to recovery.” Asking for help is critical. “When we think of stress and how to mitigate it because life is too much, that becomes a pathway for pain and trauma to embed,” she says. But it’s also an opportunity to do the work necessary to heal. “Reaching for a cure-all,” she says, “helps us turn away from a life we’ve created when we need to be so committed to it right now.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with postpartum depression, please see a physician or contact Postpartum Support International, a free helpline.

Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.

Dieterich CM, Felice JP, O’Sullivan E, Rasmussen KM. Breastfeeding and Health Outcomes for the Mother-infant Dyad. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2013;60(1):31-48. doi:10.1016/j.pcl.2012.09.010

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Breastfeeding Benefits Both Baby and Mom. Updated July 27, 2021.

Bertrand KA, Hanan NJ, Honerkamp-Smith G, Best BM, Chambers CD. Marijuana Use by Breastfeeding Mothers and Cannabinoid Concentrations in Breast Milk. Pediatrics. 2018;142(3):e20181076. doi:10.1542/peds.2018-1076

Uvnäs Moberg K, Ekström-Bergström A, Buckley S, et al. Maternal Plasma Levels of Oxytocin During Breastfeeding – A Systematic Review. PLoS One. 2020;15(8):e0235806. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0235806