Girls with identified prenatal weed consumption had THC of their breast milk for as much as six weeks

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The results of a small study confirm the need to abstain from weed consumption during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

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Angela Stelmakowich Only seven women were able to do without cannabis for the duration of the study. Only seven women were able to do without cannabis for the duration of the study. Photo by Getty Images

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Investigators examined adult women with prenatal cannabis use – they had a history of pregnancy and / or a positive urine test for THC when they were admitted to childbirth – between November 1, 2016 and June 30, 2019 at Children’s Colorado and University of Colorado Hospital by UCHealth.

25 women were enrolled after expressing their intention to breastfeed, their willingness to give up marijuana six weeks after delivery, and their ability to collect milk, blood and urine samples during those six weeks. But only seven women were able to abstain from cannabis during the duration of the study, while those who could not pointed out the need for stress, sleep, and pain relief.

THC crosses the placenta, is highly lipophilic and can be found in breast milk. It has sparked national guidelines recommending “avoiding marijuana during pregnancy and breastfeeding,” the study abstract reads. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine have made recommendations to abstain from cannabis use.

According to reports from Children’s Colorado, doctors see increased use of cannabis by mothers during pregnancy in line with increasing weed use across society.

“However, given the lack of scientific data on how long THC stays in breast milk, it has been difficult to give mothers a definitive answer on the safety of using marijuana while breastfeeding and simply“ pumping and emptying ”until THC Their milk was no longer detectable, ”says Dr. Erica Wymore, the study’s lead researcher and neonatologist at Children’s Colorado, in the statement.

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In addition to providing more information on how long THC remains in breast milk, the study also provides information on “why mothers use marijuana in the first place,” says Dr. Maya Bunik, lead investigator on the study and medical director of the Child Health Clinic and the Breastfeeding Management Clinic at Children’s Colorado.

“To encourage successful abstention, we need to examine and improve the support system we offer new mothers,” emphasizes Dr. Bunik.

And “to limit the unknown effects of THC on fetal brain development and promote safe breastfeeding, it is important to emphasize marijuana abstention both early in pregnancy and after birth,” she adds.

While the study was not intended to examine the effects of marijuana use on infants, the results are worrying, especially given that “marijuana today is five to six times more effective than what it was prior to the recent legalization of marijuana was available in many states ”. notes Dr. Wymore.

“Pregnant women get mixed messages from their health care providers.” Photo by Getty Images / iStockphoto

A study published last year by Washington State University investigators cited the need for clear information.

“Pregnant women get mixed messages from their health care providers,” the review notes. Most providers advised women to stop using cannabis, some asked them to limit use, and for some women they stated that they were not interviewed about marijuana use or that their provider said nothing in the disclosure, “which the researchers said in light of the National guidelines surprised that direct health care providers advise pregnant women about the risks of using marijuana. “

A Newfoundland and Labrador review published last December found that there was evidence that THC “can be present in breast milk as early as an hour after consumption and persist for up to six days”. In this case, it may not be possible to consume cannabis and avoid exposure of infants. This means pharmacists must be able to educate and screen patients about marijuana use during pregnancy and breastfeeding in order to ultimately reduce the harm.

Citing limited evidence of the effects of cannabis use on prejudice, pregnancy and breastfeeding, the Public Health Ontario reports report, “Guidelines recommend routine screening, comprehensive care, counseling on the risks of substance use and encouraging breastfeeding if the risks are not Benefits outweigh. “

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