Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women

Using marijuana while pregnant or breastfeeding can affect the health of your baby. Here are some facts you need to know:

How Marijuana Affects Your Baby

The active ingredient in marijuana, most commonly known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), can reach your baby regardless if you smoke, vape, eat, or drink marijuana.

THC enters through your bloodstream into the placenta (the organ that provides oxygen and nutrients to your baby during pregnancy).

THC is stored in fat cells and can be transferred through breast milk to your baby. “Pumping and dumping” does not work to remove THC, because it is slowly released over several weeks and stays in your breast milk.

Babies can also be exposed to secondhand marijuana smoke that enters their lungs.

Marijuana Can Harm Your Baby

Using marijuana while pregnant can increase the risk of health problems within the first year of life and can result in your baby being born with a lower birthweight.

Marijuana may also affect the growth and development of your baby’s brain.

No Amount of Marijuana is Safe

Tips from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • If you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant, stop marijuana use.

  • If you use marijuana for medicinal reasons, stop use in favor of a healthier, safe alternative.

  • Avoid breathing marijuana smoke while pregnant. Like tobacco smoke, marijuana smoke lowers your oxygen levels, introduces toxins
    into your system, and harms your lungs, which is unsafe for you and your baby.

Always consult with your doctor about any questions you may have about marijuana and information about using marijuana while pregnant.

For more information check out the California Department of Public Health’s Let’s Talk Cannabis campaign

Download a copy of the pregnant and breastfeeding mom’s publication

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