Cannabidiol, more popularly known as CBD, has become a popular go-to option for many people suffering from various health issues. Even if you have used it before, the main question is can you use CBD during pregnancy and breastfeeding?
Pregnancy and the postpartum periods are difficult stages for most moms. Whether it is dealing with surging hormones, or aches and pains, you might be looking for something to provide relief! But before reaching out for CBD oil, every mom needs to know the effects of using it.
What is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol is a chemical that is found naturally in cannabis i.e. marijuana and hemp plants. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is a different type of cannabinoid, CBD does not create feelings of intoxication or give you a “high”.
In other words, CBD is a component of medical marijuana and is used to treat certain sicknesses and diseases. CBD (for treating medical purposes) is derived from the hemp plant and then it is mixed with a carrier like hemp seed oil or coconut oil.
Benefits of CBD Oil
Some of the benefits of CBD oil are:
- Treating anxiety including PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder), CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) as well as insomnia that is caused by anxiety
- Helpful for people suffering from neurological disorders like schizophrenia, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, and depression.
- When applied on the skin, CBD can reduce inflammation and pain caused by arthritis.
- CBD can also help reduce seizures especially in children suffering from epilepsy syndromes.
Can CBD oil be used during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, your body goes through different physical and mental changes. After delivery, many women suffer from postpartum depression including chronic pain, insomnia, and anxiety mainly due to lack of sleep and hormonal shifts.
Though there is not enough research to prove that taking CBD while pregnant is unsafe, research has shown that when expectant moms eat or smoke marijuana, the chemicals reach the fetus via the placenta. Doctors and experts warn that all pregnant women should stay away from cannabis (in any form) during pregnancy.
The dangers of a fetus’ exposure to marijuana include disrupting a baby’s brain development and it also increases the risk of stillbirth or the chances of delivering a smaller baby. Since the market for CBD oil is quite unregulated, there are plenty of reports suggesting that products that are marked as “pure CBD” are actually contaminated. CBD oil bought in an unregulated market can contain THC, toxic metals, bacteria, and pesticides which is harmful to you as well as your baby.
Is CBD Oil Safe while Breastfeeding?
Similarly, in the case of breastfeeding, no studies have been conducted to show whether CBD oil affects a baby or not. However, physicians and experts generally advise against consuming CBD while breastfeeding as they are concerned about the effects of CBD on a baby’s brain development.
Chemicals that are ingested by a breastfeeding mother can easily be passed on to a baby through breast milk, including marijuana and CBD. In this case, the “pump and dump” concept does not work because cannabis products that enter your body can last in your system for days and even weeks before breastfeeding.
Another important reason why you should avoid CBD while breastfeeding is because it increases sleepiness and drowsiness and you may not be able to care for your child probably in that state. So CBD oil and breastfeeding are a big no-no!
Alternatives to CBD oil when pregnant or breastfeeding
During and post-pregnancy, your hormones will surge, or you may experience nausea, moodiness, insomnia, as well as anxiety. Since it is not safe to depend on CBD to manage your symptoms, here are some tips that you can keep in mind:
- For postpartum depression, anxiety, irrational fears, and moodiness, try meditating and include talk therapy and light therapy. If your symptoms are extreme, talk to your doctor about it and they may prescribe some anti-depressants that are alright to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
- If you are trying to cope with nausea, take frequent but smaller snacks throughout the day and don’t let your tummy get empty. Keep plain crackers, light soups, bananas, and fruits at hand. Avoid fried and greasy foods or extra spicy foods during pregnancy. Chewing on ginger or sipping lemon juice are remedies that many moms swear by.
- If you are struggling with insomnia, bubble baths, warm milk, and gentle foot massages can help a lot. Avoid taking medicines for sleeping including natural herbal teas and other supplements without consulting your doctor first.
Coping with pregnancy and postpartum problems is not always easy. However, it is better to avoid using CBD oil to be on the safe side. It is advisable to take the advice of your physician if your problems are severe and you need relief.