cbd oil for nursing mothers

I’m Nursing—Can I Use CBD?

The days and weeks after giving birth can be both exhilarating and trying for a new parent. After a long wait and birth experience, you finally have your exquisite bundle of joy in your arms, but at the same time, you’re tired, you’re fragile, you’re in pain, and you’re likely experiencing constant mood swings. In the storm of emotions and a baby who needs you around the clock, cannabidiol could seem like the perfect solution.

Join us for an exploration of the issues surrounding CBD oil while breastfeeding to make a well-informed decision for your body.

Taking a Leaf out of History’s Book

CBD while breastfeeding is not a new idea. In fact, cannabis-derived remedies are said to have been used by new mothers for a long time, although ethnological studies are hard to come by. On the surface, the known benefits of cannabidiol for anxiety, inflammation, sleep, and mood-support would seem to make CBD oil while breastfeeding an obvious choice for coasting through the challenges of the postpartum period. However, there might be more to the situation than meets the eye.

The Difficulty Lies in the Lack of Research

While experience and a lack of negative case studies would seem to tell us that CBD oil while breastfeeding is safe, there is currently no clinical research to confirm what—if any—would be a safe dose. Studies so far with whole cannabis indicate that THC products taken during pregnancy and nursing stay in breast milk for up to six days and could harm the developing brain of the growing infant. Furthermore, animal studies concerning CBD have shown that high doses of cannabidiol during pregnancy could damage the reproductive systems of male offspring.

The total amount of THC that the baby ingests through breast milk has been observed to be around 2.5% of the amount inhaled by the mother, so we could expect the effects of CBD oil while breastfeeding to be minimal compared to the effects of taking the oil during pregnancy.

To date, there have not been any studies to examine the effects of CBD in human breast milk, and ethical concerns may prevent researchers from tackling the issue.

If You Do Take CBD Oil while Breastfeeding

The best way to decide if using CBD while breastfeeding is an acceptable risk to take would be to mention the idea to your doctor or midwife, and weigh up the benefits along with the risks. For example, if you’re doing well in the postpartum period and feeling supported by family and friends, you might not need to supplement with products that have not been conclusively tested for safety in infants.

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However, if you’re struggling with postpartum depression, not sleeping, and feeling unable to care for or bond with your baby, a low dose of cannabidiol might present similar (or lesser) risks compared with the other drugs that are often prescribed for new mothers. If your doctor approves a trial of low-dose CBD for postpartum symptoms, consider using a milder product like our 500 mg potency oils, a vegan gummy split in two, or a partial serving of our sugar-free CBD supergreens. The most important thing, in this case, would be to choose a high-quality product that’s independently tested and found to be free from heavy metals, pesticides, bacteria, and with zero THC.

If You Don’t Take CBD Oil While Breastfeeding

Because of the FDA’s stance on avoiding CBD while breastfeeding, we label our products as “not to be used if you are pregnant or nursing.” We take the health of our customers seriously and want to help you find your coast—without undue risk to minors.

If you choose to follow the FDA’s guideline and avoid cannabis while nursing your child, there are other natural ways to enhance your well-being:

Hire a Postpartum Doula

To reduce the need for CBD oil while breastfeeding, ensure that you have the support you need to rest, recover, and enjoy your baby by hiring someone to come and help. This could be a friend, a family member, or a professional postpartum doula who is trained to help with breastfeeding issues as well as to cook, clean, hold the baby, or do anything else you need her to do.

Wear Your Baby

Studies show that skin-to-skin contact can be as important for you as it is for your baby—potentially decreasing the need for CBD oil while breastfeeding. In a meta-analysis published in 2017, babywearing or “kangaroo care” was overwhelmingly shown to increase oxytocin (the love hormone) in the mother, blocking the stress response and promoting calmness and connection.

Try Essential Oils

Hemp and cannabis oils are largely popular for their aromatic terpenes as well as their cannabinoids. Enjoy the terpenes without the cannabis by infusing your home with a quality orange essential oil during the day and lavender before bed to help you sleep.

Go for CBD Topicals Instead

Taking CBD oil while breastfeeding is generally discouraged because the cannabidiol passes to the infant through the bloodstream. However, topical CBD doesn’t pose the same risks because it remains in the tissues closer to the surface. Rub some CBD lotion into your belly and back to enjoy cannabidiol’s moisturizing properties if you decide to avoid oral forms of CBD while breastfeeding.

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Honest, High-Quality CBD

Our passion at EndoCoast is to produce high-quality CBD products from all-natural hemp, without the pesticides and THC that cramp your style. We believe that you deserve a clean and high-quality product—whether or not your doctor permits CBD oil while breastfeeding—and that’s why we have all of our products tested with a third-party laboratory, viewable on the Certificates of Analysis on our site.

Your partner can still enjoy the benefits of oral CBD preparations during pregnancy and the postpartum period to help stay calm! Shop with EndoCoast today for high-quality, cutting-edge products, and relax with free and fast shipping to the USA.

Is It Safe to Take CBD While Breastfeeding?

CBD has been a hot topic in wellness and medicine for the past couple of years. Some people swear by the derivative of hemp to relax, de-stress, and sleep better. So it makes perfect sense that new mothers, dealing with sleepless nights thanks to late-night feeding and early mornings, out-of-whack hormones, or even postpartum anxiety and depression in some cases, would be curious about the benefits.

"CBD and other cannabinoids have undergone intense scrutiny in the areas of managing anxiety and sleep, and can be beneficial for both immediate and long term stress and insomnia," Mary Clifton, M.D., an internal medicine doctor and leading cannabis and CBD expert, tells InStyle.

But what if you're a new mom and also nursing? Is taking CBD still a good idea? Here's what you need to know about CBD and breastfeeding.

The Science On CBD While Breastfeeding

The problem is, we know very little about the safety of taking CBD while breastfeeding because of the inability to test infants.

What we do know comes from studies about marijuana and breastfeeding. According to a study from UC San Diego, THC was measurable in most breast milk samples for up to six days after the substance was consumed or ingested by the mother.

That's why experts say it's best just to stay away from CBD altogether during both pregnancy and while breastfeeding until we know more. "Right now, we do not have any accurate studies showing how long CBD stays in your system," Nicole Williams, M.D., ob-gyn and founder of the Gynecology Institute of Chicago tells InStyle. "This could be as short as a few days or maybe even weeks!"

In other words, CBD can't just be treated like having a glass of wine if you're currently nursing. "The pump and dump method can't work because you have no idea if there is still CBD in your breastmilk," Dr. Williams adds. 

Bottom line: CBD is currently unregulated by the FDA, so there is very little known about the safety of taking it while breastfeeding.

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"In cases like this, I often tell my patients, 'why take the risk?'" Dr. Williams says.

Are There Any Risks Associated?

Again, since experts can't study CBD in infants, "all we have is information from babies who were born addicted to substances in the cannabinoid family," Clifton says. And the list of potential risks is long. "Symptoms for cannabis exposure often include lethargy, somnolence, blood sugar abnormalities, or even coma."

Plus, according to the FDA, levels of THC in breastmilk can negatively affect a baby's brain development, which could result in poor cognitive function and other long-term conditions. "Higher concentrations of cannabinoids than those naturally present have not been studied in young people with developing brains, and there is concern that cannabinoids could damage developing neural tissues," Clifton explains.

Again, this is all based on THC, but "until further studies are completed, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should not use CBD or other cannabinoids," Clifton says.

Is Any Kind of CBD Safe to Take While Breastfeeding?

According to Dr. Williams, "when it comes to CBD, there is no 'safe' level for neither pregnancy nor breastfeeding."

However, topical CBD salves and balms (rather than ingestible forms) are most likely to be a bit safer, because they aren't directly entering your bloodstream. Some doulas say you should be okay to use a topical product for sore muscles or nipples, as long as you clean the area before your baby nurses — but be sure to talk to your doctor first.

What Are Some Alternatives to CBD for Depressed or Anxious New Moms?

If new motherhood is really taking a toll — mentally, physically, or both — there are some safe alternatives to taking CBD.

"What research is telling us is that postpartum depression can last many months after the baby has arrived, so don't think you have to be a supermom immediately," says Dr. Williams. She suggests traditional talk therapy for anxious new moms or, if prescribed, SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) as safe and effective treatment options.

In addition to consulting your primary care physician, psychiatrist, or OB/GYN about treatment options that can safely help with postpartum anxiety and depression, Clifton also notes the importance of focusing on self-care and the little things you can do to take time for yourself.

"There's valuable support that can be achieved from standard psychotherapy, great diet, regular exercise, and paying particular attention to supportive relationships with close family and friends during this special but challenging time."