Effects while pregnant or breastfeeding

There’s no known safe amount of marijuana use during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.

  • Marijuana is now legal for adults over 21. But this doesn't mean it’s safe for pregnant or breastfeeding moms or babies.

  • You shouldn’t use marijuana while you’re pregnant, just like you shouldn’t use alcohol and tobacco.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding and need help to stop using marijuana. Or call 1-800-CHILDREN for help.

  • Talk to your doctor if you use marijuana for medical reasons. There are other, safer choices to treat medical problems during pregnancy.

Breathing marijuana smoke is bad for you and your baby.

  • Marijuana smoke has many of the same chemicals as tobacco smoke. Some of these chemicals may cause cancer.

  • Don’t allow anyone to smoke in your home or around your baby.


Marijuana use during pregnancy
  • Using marijuana while pregnant may harm your baby.

    • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the chemical in marijuana that makes you feel "high." Using marijuana while you’re pregnant passes THC to your baby.

    • THC may make it hard for your child to pay attention and learn, especially as your child grows older. This would make it harder for your child to do well in school.

  • THC in any form of marijuana may be bad for your baby.

    • Some people think that using a vape pen or eating marijuana (in cookies or brownies, for example) is safer than smoking marijuana. The evidence does not support this and all marijuana products still contain THC. 

  • There may be legal consequences for using marijuana while pregnant.

  • If you are pregnant or a mother with young children, you are a priority for drug and alcohol treatment. Treatment is available at several locations and children are welcome. Your treatment will be confidential and nonjudgmental. Medicaid/sliding scale fees. Learn more at Tough as a Mother.


Marijuana use while breastfeeding
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics says mothers who are breastfeeding their babies shouldn’t use marijuana. 

  • Breastfeeding has many health benefits for both the baby and the mother. But THC in marijuana gets into breast milk and may affect your baby.

  • Because THC is stored in body fat, it stays in your body for a long time. A baby's brain and body are made with a lot of fat. Since your baby’s brain and body may store THC for a long time, you shouldn’t use marijuana while you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. 

  • Breast milk also contains a lot of fat. This means that "pumping and dumping" your breast milk does not work.

  • All information on the health effects of marijuana is taken from the Retail Marijuana Public Health Advisory Committee’s systematic review of available, high-quality research. For more information about its findings, review Monitoring Health Concerns Related to Marijuana in Colorado.