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Marijuana use and breastfeeding

Josephine Djulus, MD Myla Moretti, MSC Gideon Koren, MD, FRCPC

March 2005



One of my breastfeeding patients is using marijuana to combat chronic pain. Is it safe for her to breastfeed?


Lactating mothers should refrain from consuming cannabinoids. Advising mothers to discontinue breastfeeding if they cannot stop using cannabinoids must incorporate the known risks of formula feeding. Cannabinoid exposure through milk has not been shown to increase neonatal risk, but there are no appropriate studies of this. In every case, nursing babies should be closely monitored.


L'une de mes patientes allaite et consomme de la marijuana pour atténuer ses douleurs chroniques. Est-ce sans danger qu'elle allaite?


Les mères qui allaitent devraient s'abstenir de consommer des cannabinoïdes. En conseillant aux femmes de cesser d'allaiter si elles ne peuvent pas arrêter de consommer des cannabinoïdes, il faut aussi les aviser des risques connus du recours à l'allaitement artificiel. Il n'a pas été démontré que l'exposition aux cannabinoïdes dans le lait maternel augmentait les risques chez les nouveau-nés mais il n'existe aucune étude adéquate sur le sujet. Dans tous les cas, les nourrissons devraient faire l'objet d'une étroite surveillance.

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