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Breastfeeding and Marijuana use

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  • Breastfeeding and Marijuana use

    I have recently learned that some hospitals are asking a new mother who has tested positive for THC to pump and dump 30 days or until they have a negative test.
    I have tried finding any literature to support this. I typically speak to new mothers about the risk and encourage them to stop using, however would we have them pump and dump until they get a negative test?
    Any guidance on this is appreciated. Thank you,Gina

  • #2
    Gina:

    The withholding of breastmilk in infants of drug screen-positive moms is not new. However, I find many states now are rejecting this stupid policy and includes ACOG, and Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.
    While none of us really support the use of cannabis in breastfeeding medicine, withhold breastmilk is a ludicrous response in the infants.

    The amount of THC in breastmilk a few hours after smoking is incredibly small. The amount of THC in human milk by the next day after smoking is even lower. A recent study that looked at THC levels in human milk out to 3 weeks postpartum found that an infant only received about 3-6 MICROGRAMS PER DAY after the first week following smoking. Of this, we know that the oral absorption of THC is absolutely minimal maybe at most 1-5% of that present in milk. So you can see that rejecting milk for a newborn infant is simply ludicrous, and could be putting some premature infants at high risk of dying from necrotizing enterocolitis.

    Tom Hale Ph.D.

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