Breastfeeding and marijuana

Smiling baby girl lying on a bed

Would you let your baby smoke pot?

This mother does:


That’s what she is doing when she smokes pot while breastfeeding. Indeed, the baby gets a GREATER concentration of active ingredients than the mother does.

The mother wrote:

Need a safe place to share this beautiful picture …

Perhaps the fact that she was high is responsible for her delusion that the internet — even a private group — is a safe space.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Is she unaware that she is potentially poisoning the baby’s brain or is she just too high to give a damn?[/pullquote]

Not surprisingly, the image has gone viral. According to the Irish Sun, Shocking photo appearing to show a US woman breastfeeding while taking hits from a BONG sparks outrage:

A shocking photo which appears to show an American woman breastfeeding while taking hits from a bong has caused outrage online.

The image shows breastfeeding mum Kayla Marlow holding a purple pipe – used to inhale drugs – to her mouth while her friend holds a lighter over the other end.

The post was shared by Ms Marlow, thought to be from Portland, Oregon, a state which has legalised the use of marijuana in most circumstances…

The picture was shared in a cannabis parenting support group on Facebook, but screenshots of the original post have gathered almost 9,700 likes and over 2,000 shares.

A cannabis parenting group? They are (or have become) a secret group so I can’t see what supporting canabis parenting means, but perhaps someone familiar with the group will let me know.

Many readers were outraged and no doubt Child Protective Services has been notified. That’s entirely appropriate since marijuana may cause serious neurodevelopmental problems in a breastfeeding infant.

According to the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine’s Guidelines for Breastfeeding and Substance Use or Substance Use Disorder:

…D9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main compound in marijuana, is present in human milk up to eight times that of maternal plasma levels, and metabolites are found in infant feces, indicating that THC is absorbed and metabolized by the infant. It is rapidly distributed to the brain and adipose tissue and stored in fat tissues for weeks to months. It has a long half-life (25–57 hours) and stays positive in the urine for 2–3 weeks …

There are few studies of marijuana use and breastfeeding and the results are conflicting. But animal studies raise the possibility of serious neurological impairment.

…[C]annabinoid exposure during critical periods of brain development can induce subtle and long-lasting neurofunctional alterations. Several preclinical studies highlight how even low to moderate doses during particular periods of brain development can have profound consequences for brain maturation, potentially leading to long-lasting alterations in cognitive functions and emotional behaviors.

Therefore, the ABM recommends:

Breastfeeding mothers should be counseled to reduce or eliminate their use of marijuana to avoid exposing their infants to this substance and advised of the possible long-term neurobehavioral effects from continued use.

I’d love to know the mother’s “reasoning” behind breastfeeding while high. Does she not understand that she is essentially making the baby high, too? Is she unaware that she is potentially poisoning the baby’s brain? Or is she just too high to give a damn?