Many women wonder if they smoke marijuana, will it also show up in their breast milk. The answer is yes according to a new study that was published April 9 in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Thomas Hale, director of the Infant Risk Center at Texas Tech University School of Medicine in Amarillo, and the senior study author, remarked, “This study is just a start to see if marijuana transferred into breast milk. Levels in milk were quite low.”
Study co-author Dr. Teresa Baker, co-director of the Infant Risk Center at Texas Tech, also said, “We do not recommend the use of marijuana. There’s concern for the developing brain exposed to THC [the active component in marijuana].”
In a study of eight women who used marijuana, all whose use varied, exclusively breast fed their babies after about two to five months aver they gave birth.
The study was done completely anonymously as the participants used a breast milk collection kit at a local community center that had instructions on where to buy a specific strain of marijuana. The women were also asked to stop smoking marijuana for 24 hours prior to smoking for the breast milk test.
Dr. Ronald Marino, chief of the division of general pediatrics at NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, N.Y., looked at the findings and said, “Most things do get into breast milk, and we need to understand this more because we don’t know if there’s a safe exposure level for babies. But it’s probably better not to be exposed.”
“Your baby’s brain is developing so much in the first year of life, you want to give them every chance to have high function. Try to stay as pure as you can when breast-feeding—[avoiding] marijuana, alcohol or even herbal remedies,” he also said.
He further remarked, “Marijuana has been legalized in many states, but so is alcohol. We know that just because alcohol is legal, it doesn’t mean it’s a reasonable thing to use when pregnant or breast-feeding.”