We are so thankful to Good To Know Colorado for providing this sponsored post. Due to the nature of this post the contributor has been kept anonymous.
Finding out you are pregnant, whether for the first time or the fifth time, can come with a wave of so many emotions. For many, it is excitement; for some, it may be shock; for others, it can be overwhelming. As a newly pregnant mom, all through your pregnancy, and while you are breastfeeding, you are faced with many decisions for you and your baby. There is a lot to learn.
There is a new element in Colorado that makes your health decisions as a mom more important than ever. It may be a side you have not considered. Retail marijuana is now legal in Colorado for adults 21 and older, but whether you choose to use retail marijuana or not, it is good to know about the laws and health effects that pertain to a woman and her baby. Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to pregnancy and breastfeeding.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) works to protect and improve the health of Colorado’s people and the quality of its environment. To address these topics and more, CDPHE has launched a public education campaign focusing on the specific health effects and risks associated with retail marijuana use during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.
Many women believe using marijuana while pregnant or breastfeeding is less risky than using other drugs, alcohol, or tobacco. You should always talk to your health care provider about your health decisions. The reality is that there is no known safe amount of marijuana use while pregnant or breastfeeding. Marijuana contains THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the chemical that gives the person consuming it a “high” feeling.
Whether a woman chooses to smoke or eat marijuana, THC passes to her baby in the womb and also through her breast milk. Pregnancy is a critical time for your baby’s development. Exposure to THC may affect a baby’s brain development, making it harder for them to learn and pay attention as they grow up.
Once your baby is born, there are risks to using marijuana while breastfeeding. THC from marijuana stays in breast milk much longer than alcohol does, making it unsafe for a mother to “pump and dump”. Also, because THC is stored in body fat, it stays in the mother’s body for a long time. A baby’s brain and body are made with a lot of fat, which means a baby may store THC for a long time as well. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mothers who are breastfeeding should not use marijuana.
It is also very important to understand that marijuana smoke is bad for both baby and mother. The smoke from marijuana has many of the same chemicals as tobacco smoke. Some of these chemicals can cause cancer.
The bottom line if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are currently breastfeeding is that there are many decisions you must make. Learn the facts about retail marijuana and make informed decisions for you and your baby. Always talk to your health care provider or doctor about any questions or concerns you may have. You can also learn more at GoodToKnowColorado.com/Baby.
Source: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment