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Open Access Marijuana Use and Breastfeeding

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Marijuana is one of the most widely used recreational substances in the United States, with high rates of use during peak childbearing years. Medical marijuana use is also becoming more widely accepted in the United States, with legalization in 17 states and the District of Columbia. The available literature suggests that maternal marijuana use during breastfeeding is associated with potentially negative outcomes for infants and children. Adverse effects can include feeding difficulty, lethargy, and delayed cognitive and motor development. Mothers considered heavy or chronic users of marijuana are advised to not breastfeed infants. The aim of this article is to examine the prevalence of marijuana use, the potential effects on breastfed infants, and current recommendations from lactation experts.

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Keywords: breastfeeding; infants; marijuana; mothering; substance abuse

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: Seattle University, Washington, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2012

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