The Drs.: Smoking Marijuana While Breastfeeding & Around Kids

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The Doctors: Is It OK to Smoke Marijuana While Pregnant or Breastfeeding?

A new mother from Portland, Oregon is refusing to stop using her medicinal marijuana while breastfeeding. The mom was smoking through her pregnancy and the baby was born eight weeks premature. The mother also had to sign a waiver saying she understood the risks to the baby. Is that okay? This is what the Doctors were trying to figure out. Their answer? No. She was using it medicinally, which is okay, but there is a huge difference for medications when you’re pregnant than when you aren’t. This puts the baby at risk and pregnant women are often taken off medications.

There’s a limited amount of knowledge on this issue and there haven’t been that many studies on it. But the studies that are out there have said that there are negative effects especially if the mother is a regular user. There are low birth weights, preterm labor, decreased IQ and an increased risk of psychiatric disorders. In this case, the child was born prematurely.

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The Drs.: Smoking Marijuana While Breastfeeding & Around Kids

The Doctors discussed smoking marijuana while pregnant, breastfeeding, and caring for children. (Luis Carlos Jimenez del rio / Shutterstock.com)

There aren’t studies about breastfeeding though because not a lot of moms are going to volunteer for that study. However, it’s important to note that a developing brain is vulnerable and THC interferes with the connections involved with the cerebral cortex. That’s the part of the brain that’s involved with thinking and memory. And those changes are permanent. That’s why people say teenagers shouldn’t smoke. Developing brains are obviously different that developed brains.

The Doctors: Cannabis Benefits During Pregnancy?

Registered nurse Mary Lynn Mathre had a different opinion on the subject, though. First of all, she said it’s important to call it Cannabis. It’s a natural and old plant, but then again the same could be said for opium. Also, everyone has receptors in their brains and bodies that are waiting for cannabinoid to start chemical processes. Then again, we all have opiates. In 1988 we learned about cannabinoids and we learned about anabantids in 1992. They’re in breast milk, which is helpful for babies. It makes them want to eat more. In studies, animals die if that’s blocked. She believed that we should take pregnant women off medications because of the developing brain, but not marijuana. They’ve been using it everywhere and for a long time.

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The Doctors feel that you’re always better safe than sorry with kids, but there do need to be more studies. Many people think that it can’t get into the breast milk, but the opposite can actually be true. THC concentrates in fatty tissues, which is a problem for a chronic users. It could be in the breast eight times more than other parts of the body. A 2014 study on mice said it could affect a child. Moms that smoked in the first month of the child’s life saw decreased motor skill development in the child 11 months later.

The Doctors: Is is Okay for Daycare Workers to Smoke Marijuana?

That’s not the only marijuana controversy though. Two daycare workers were caught on camera taking hits from a bong. One of them, Charity, talked on the show. She doesn’t see a problem with her actions because she’s diabetic and has neuropathy that caused her to be bedridden for years. She was taped in her backyard, but the kids were in the school. But was she high while she was providing childcare? Was she high on the show? She wasn’t medicated for two hours before coming on the show.

When patients are medicated, they’re told not to operate heavy machinery or drive a car. On top of that, The Doctors say don’t take care of small children. What she did was legal, but there’s new legislation coming out to make it illegal to care for children under the influence of marijuana.

Charity said that one person could be medicated while one wasn’t. Yet the video showed two people smoking. She wasn’t on shift, but she was planning to work when her shift started. Her daycare is at her home. The main thing is to figure out how to regulate it because there are so many questions about this. People are also questioning when it’s okay to drive.

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