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Marijuana and pregnancy and breastfeeding

Marijuana can affect the health of your baby. Just like with alcohol, it's not recommended if you are pregnant, caring for an infant, or planning to get pregnant soon.

Table of Contents

Health effects before pregnancy

Men who are frequent user of marijuana can have:

  • A lower libido
  • Less seminal fluid
  • A lower sperm count
  • Fewer well-functioning sperm

All these may adversely affect fertility.

For women, there is evidence that marijuana can disrupt the menstrual cycle. It can also reduce the number of eggs retrieved and successfully fertilized during in vitro fertilization.

Health effects during pregnancy

More research is needed to better understand how marijuana may affect you and your baby during pregnancy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends against using marijuana during your pregnancy because:

  • THC will reach your baby through your bloodstream and through the placenta
  • It may increase your baby’s risk of problems with attention, memory, problem-solving skills, and behavior over the course of their lifetime, making it harder for your child to do well in school

If you’re using marijuana and are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant, talk to your doctor.

If you are pregnant, and want to stop using marijuana, call or visit the MA Substance Use Helpline at (800) 327-5050.

Health effects during breastfeeding

There is a lot we don’t know yet about marijuana and breastfeeding. But here is what we do know:

  • Breastfeeding has many health benefits for both the baby and the mother
  • THC in marijuana gets into breast milk and may affect your baby
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics says mothers who are breastfeeding their babies shouldn’t use marijuana

For more information, visit the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Secondhand smoke and your baby

Any kind of smoke, including marijuana smoke, can make it harder for your baby to breathe and may increase the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).