Any woman who has gone through childbirth will attest to the whirlwind of symptoms and emotions that are often experienced as new mothers. From the pain of giving birth—whether vaginally or via C-section—and the anxiety and concern over the wellbeing of the new baby, to the potential ‘baby blues’ and full blown post-partum depression that many new mothers often experience, motherhood certainly can come with a slew of side effects in addition to the euphoria of cradling a new precious child.
For some women, the symptoms quickly subside or may not even arise at all. For others, the symptoms never seem to go away or can even impede on their health and well-being.
Anxiety, depression, and a general overwhelmed feeling can often plague new mothers, and when it gets severe, many often seek out medical intervention as a means to alleviate these symptoms. But more recently, CBD has emerged as a new alternative to treat these types of symptoms without the need for potentially harmful pharmaceuticals.
Studies have already shown CBD’s ability to alleviate stress and anxiety , and new mothers who have suddenly found themselves with a new family member to care for may find the effects of CBD calming to their potentially fragile mental state.
The pain and discomfort that often persists over the days and weeks following childbirth may also be another reason for new moms to reach for medication. And again, CBD can play another role in the health and wellness of mothers, this time in the form of a natural pain reliever.  Capsules, tinctures, and even vapes may help to alleviate any pain and discomfort that new mothers may experience from the trauma of delivering a baby.
But while pregnant women may want to be extra careful of ingesting CBD while pregnant, do the same “rules” apply to new mothers? More specifically, breastfeeding moms?
For those who are not nursing, the question of safety might not be as heavy. But as CBD increasingly becomes more easily accessible and widely sought after, concerns about its safety for use by breastfeeding women may arise, in addition to the efficacy of CBD in alleviating the many symptoms that new mothers may go through shortly after giving birth.
The truth is, CBD products are not regulated the way food and pharmaceuticals are. While the US Food and Drug Administration may have future plans of regulating the CBD food industry, no established regulations exist as of yet. As such, CBD’s safety is not yet concrete. Despite all the research that has already been done on CBD’s effectiveness and safety when it comes to alleviating pain and anxiety, for example, further study is still needed.
Having said all that, there’s a lot of anecdotal evidence that exists surrounding CBD’s efficacy in treating the common ailments that new mothers often experience.
Mothers who have either chosen not to breastfeed or have finished nursing may feel more free to experiment with CBD without being concerned about any potential impact on their newborns.
But new moms who are open to trying an alternative to traditional medications to treat symptoms such as pain and anxiety after giving birth would be well-advised to do their due diligence and practice caution, and only after chatting with a physician first.
While there is plenty of research already done on CBD, more is certainly needed, and a health care provider may be helpful at determining whether CBD is something that can be safely and confidently used while breastfeeding.
- Blessing, E.M., et al, “Cannabidiol as a Potential Treatment for Anxiety Disorders“, Neurotherapeutics, October 2015, Vol. 12(4), pp.825–836.
- Bruni, N., et al, “Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment“, Molecules, October 2018, Vol. 23(10), pp.2478.