Sure - Canadian Substance Use Resource and Knowledge Exchange Centre

Many people make changes to their substance use when expecting a child. Some stop using substances altogether while others use less or change when or how they use substances. After becoming a parent, some people continue with these changes while others resume their substance use.

Cannabis use is one factor that many consider when making decisions about breastfeeding. It may influence how long someone chooses to breastfeed exclusively, whether they choose to combine breastfeeding with formula feeding, whether they pump or express milk on occasion or regularly, or if they breastfeed at all. This harm reduction resource is for health care and social service providers who work with families during pregnancy and postpartum.

Research about the impact of cannabis on breastfeeding is very limited by small sample sizes, few longitudinal studies, difficulties quantifying exposure and strength, and the challenge of separating the effects of prenatal use from the effects during breastfeeding. In the absence of high-quality evidence, health and social service providers have an important role in sharing concerns about potential health effects of cannabis use with families. Providers can support decision-making for individuals who are planning to continue to use cannabis for medical or recreational reasons or who may have difficulties stopping their cannabis use.