Recorded Webinar: Cannabis Use During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding by Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, PhD, IBCLC, FAPA

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Product Overview


*This webinar is approved for 1 L-CERP

Approval number: C2002111 

Length: 1 hr 21 mins

This product is a recording of a session made March 24th 2020. Direct questions and concerns to




Cannabis Use During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding


Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, PhD, IBCLC, FAPA



The rates of cannabis use among pregnant and breastfeeding women range from 5% to 5.7%. However, rates are significantly higher, ranging from 27% to 83% when considering other risk factors, such as unplanned pregnancy, lack of exercise, and 3 or more stressors in the past year. If women use cannabis during pregnancy, they are likely to continue using it while breastfeeding, which raises several concerns. Is breastfeeding contraindicated? If the mother is breastfeeding, how much cannabis transfers into milk and the baby? Are the parents impaired while using? Is the baby in danger? This session addresses these important questions and offers suggestions for creating a safe environment for mothers to discuss their cannabis use so we can help her plan for infant safety. If mothers cannot abstain, practitioners should focus on harm reduction, while considering “how much is too much.” For heavy cannabis users, breastfeeding is contraindicated. Some harm-reduction strategies include addressing the underlying reasons for mothers’ cannabis use (such as trauma, depression, or anxiety) with referrals to supportive services. Can mothers use CBD products instead of cannabis? Can they use edibles instead of smoking or inhaling it? Is the infant in a safe sleep location? The most important goals are ensuring infant safety, caring for the mother, supporting breastfeeding (when possible), and facilitating mother-infant attachment.



A.     Understand the incidence of cannabis use in pregnant women and how it compares to other substances.
B.     Understand the risks of cannabis use while breastfeeding vs. risks of formula and when the risks of breastfeeding exceed those of formula use.
C.     Describe harm-reduction strategies for cannabis use.




A.     Overview of cannabis use in pregnant and breastfeeding women

a.     Incidence
b.     Relapse rates
c.     Reasons why women use cannabis
d.     Why women don’t report


B.     Is breastfeeding contraindicated?

a.     Risks of substances in breastmilk vs. risks of formula
b.     How much is too much?

                                               i.     Heavy vs. occasional use

c.     How much THC gets in the milk?

                                               i.     Different methodologies affect the results


C.     Interventions

a.     Identifying stressors
b.     Affirm mothers
c.     Use harm-reduction strategies

                                             i.     Address reasons for cannabis use

                                             ii.     CBD products

                                            iii.     Edibles

                                            iv.     Safe infant sleep





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