Articles whose authors' opinions are thatit's ok to smoke marijuana while breastfeeding?
April 14, 2012 3:09 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for articles written by at least somewhat provably reputable that are advocating for the safety of occasional marijuana use during breastfeeding.

This is hypothetical and I have all the info about why it's bad, so thanks but I already know so it's not necessary to inform me. I would like to hear the other side. I know I have seen studies and research advocate for the safety of it, but I can't seem to find them.
posted by jitterbug perfume to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This, perhaps?

Is this just to satisfy personal curiosity, or are you writing a paper? I just wondered because if you're simply trying to provide reasonable evidence for both sides of an argument, it's probably OK to say that, for instance, because few or no long-term studies have been done on the effect on long-term development of the brain of a child whose mother smoked while breastfeeding, the jury's still out, but the current consensus is that it's not really recommended.
posted by tully_monster at 4:21 PM on April 14, 2012

If anybody is advocating for something, that would likely exclude them from the category of 'reputable', at least in terms of health research.

Robust research involves generating an a priori hypothesis, and evaluating it using a sensible study design. Ideally, the people who come up with the study question are interested to know what the answer is, but are not invested in whether the study either accepts or rejects the hypothesis.
posted by lulu68 at 4:26 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

If anybody is advocating for something, that would likely exclude them from the category of 'reputable', at least in terms of health research.

Just like Semmelweis advocated for the washing of hands before surgeries?

There are a number of things - especially when it comes to women's health (relating to fetal/infant) health - that doctors today will recommend or recommend against that actually has not been proven to be an issue.

ANYWAY - this guide shows links between numerous drugs and breastfeeding:
As you can see, marijuana is mainly discouraged because it's an "abusive" substance....grouped with heroin, cocaine, and meth. ::eyeroll:: Alcohol appears to have more side-effects and it's considered "compatible" with breastfeeding. Now - the chemical components are different, to be sure....but just looking at the side effects reported I'd think it's fine to have in breast milk (although I wouldn't actually smoke around a baby, as that could cause other problems)
posted by Lt. Bunny Wigglesworth at 5:03 PM on April 14, 2012

I would see if you can get in touch with motherisk (Toronto) or a similar centre in the US - I don't do any recreational drugs but they have been excellent for presenting just what the latest research is. With BF really one of the starting points is how much gets passed to the baby. Here's the link.
posted by Zen_warrior at 5:33 PM on April 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Mothering magazine has done a couple of articles on this. One was called something like, "A Surprising Remedy for Severe Morning Sickness." I'm gonna say 8-9 years ago. I couldn't find them on-line.
posted by not that girl at 5:37 PM on April 14, 2012

If you have an Amazon account you can "click to look inslde" Dr Thomas Hale's book. In brief, "Marijuana could produce sedation and growth delay, it is highly dose dependent and thus far has not been found to do so. In one study of 27 women who smoked marijuana during breastfeeding, no differences were noted in outcomes on growth, mental, and motor development." Not exactly an endorsement, but.

I think very highly of Motherisk and have telephoned them for medication info on a couple of occasions and been impressed with the level of detail they were able to go into -- but it is worth noting that they have a relatively unusual take on drinking while nursing, telling mothers to wait to resume nursing until all alcohol is out of the milk. Even the fairly conservative AAP and many other authorities consider occasional light drinking to be compatible with nursing.

I thought I might be able to Google an interesting, possibly Australian, PDF, publication on harm reduction strategies for mothers using drugs while nursing (this directed at their health care providers) which had some useful references, but I'm having trouble finding it and can only pass along that papers written from the "harm reduction" standpoint may have some useful things to offer.
posted by kmennie at 7:12 PM on April 14, 2012

Mothering article

Keep in mind that the story there refers to a woman who was experiencing severe sickness and malnutrition during pregnancy. Her use was not at all recreational and was mostly a last-ditch effort.
posted by denriguez at 8:29 PM on April 14, 2012

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