High Society Mama: Cannabis & Breastfeeding Survey Report

This is Bianca, aka High Society Mama coming to you with a special report on Moms, cannabis and BREASTFEEDING!
 
✔️I surveyed 700 Moms and gathered anecdotal information regarding their breastfeeding experience.
✔️FYI: 95% of these Moms used cannabis while breastfeeding! 
✔️We are a community of MOMS & together we support each other on this motherhood journey with plant medicine! 
✔️ All moms carry KNOWLEDGE of their experiences and SHARING it is valuable for the new moms who are just learning!
✔️The 4th trimester is a ridiculous bundle of joy and tears. Sleep deprivation is insane.  Breastfeeding deserves a cheer leading squad for success. 👍
🌱Plant🛠 tools 🌱CAN HELP!!!
 
I want to start with one of my own stories about when I felt extreme STIGMA and JUDGEMENT around: breastfeeding and living a life outside the norm!  Bored panda pegged my picture as the COVER for the 100 craziest pictures from Burning Man. The comments about me breastfeeding my 20 month old (many commented saying he was almost a teen) at a "drug festival" went rampant. The comments I received made me feel all sorts of emotions, but most importantly I feel that I have GROWN from this experience, in ways that allow me to better serve this community of mothers!
A STIGMA is when someone views you in a negative way because you have a distinguishing characteristic or personal trait that's thought to be, or actually is, a disadvantage (a negative stereotype).  I feel there are many similarities between the individual acts of breastfeeding and the act of using cannabis as a mother.  But, when these two are combined together there is an added layer of stigma and complexity.
There is power in having the CONFIDENCE and security in knowing that your choice is something you believe in and brings value to your life. The external inputs of judgement by others and not fitting in, should not matter when we live our authentic life, being true to our values.
Prior to starting High Society Mama, I brought my son to Burning Man festival for many years from when he was an infant on.  I was shamed and criticized for my choice, but when I was pregnant I had made the decision that I was going to parent the way I WANTED TO and NOT the way the norms told me I should. We traveled to Mexico for a month when my son was a few weeks old, then went to Guatemala, India, Iceland and Colombia before he was 6 months old. We brought him to Burning Man when he was 10 months and many other festivals as well.  But, through all that travel I never felt the amount of criticism that I did from bringing him to a "drug festival".
Looking back at this now, I realize how much this prepared me for my work on High Society Mama. I work everyday to help inspire mothers to be confident in their choice to use cannabis. I can't say I don't have days where I feel challenged and that I struggle, but I know what I believe in and will keep fighting to spread awareness and truth for mothers to live their best mom life, NATURALLY.
 
BREASTFEEDING is NATURAL. So WHY is there a stigma around it?
Well, the act of breastfeeding is HARD for many people. When a mother is not adequately prepared for the challenges of breastfeeding she is faced with extreme stress and self criticism, which can lead to giving up. Breastfeeding is thought to be inconvenient by some because it takes up such a large amount of Moms time, and the responsibility can not be shared with another caretaker. Snap back culture and working Moms do not go well with extended breastfeeding. Additionally, breastfeeding does not have any corporations backing it and advocating for it because it actually works against capitalism.  Much of the current fast paced culture, does not support breastfeeding, and because of the challenges, it is easier for society to advocate that fed is best to take the stress off mothers.
It is my belief that many moms lack the community support needed to thrive during this time, and the pressure to breastfeed (but, not for too long) inadvertently contribute to anxiety when things don’t go as smoothly as we'd like. What's even worse is the effect of that stress, lessens the production of breast milk and even floods it with potentially harmful (to baby) hormones.
I want to provide SUPPORT for Moms to extend their breastfeeding journey by reducing the stress and anxiety around it while also building confidence in both using cannabis and keeping up breastfeeding for as long as you want to. That is why I developed some tools at Society's Plant to support breastfeeding.
Society's Plant CBD flower is an incredible tool for lowering your stress and anxiety! I have also cultivated an incredible community of women that encourage one another to make their own educated decisions on what methods to use to balance their levels of stress during every season of motherhood.
One of my favorite options that I personally use for PMS wellness that is also intended specifically to support Mama's milk production and strengthen the uterus post partum is in Society's Mamas Abundance Tea. This herbal-hemp tea was created with all Mamas in mind! Check out the herb breakdown & all the benefits below.
  • Hemp Stems: Rich in natural CBD/cannabinoid goodness...The greatest need a Mama has is the restoration of vital nutrients that were used to sustain her through pregnancy and then breastfeeding the aerial parts of the hemp plant are actually a powerhouse of these nutrients!
  • Red Raspberry Leaf: Commonly used by nurse-midwives to ease labor & delivery. This herb is considered a "tonic" herb, toning the uterus during & after pregnancy and also used for menstrual pain. It also supplies vitamins A, C, E; and several minerals such as calcium & magnesium. * Suggested use in 3rd trimester.
  • Nettles & Oat Straw: Two more herbs that are toning & nutritional! Nettle is a source of iron in addition to other minerals and oat straw is a source of b-vitamins, calcium, and magnesium.
  • Rosehips & Orange Peel: Both are natural sources of vitamin C which will restore the integrity of the skin & support a healthy immune system.
Sign up for our EMAIL LIST here:
and receive a VERY special offer specific for breastfeeding moms to get the tools that can assist their breastfeeding journey!
There is no warning to prepare you for the challenges of motherhood. It is a LOT of new really HARD tasks to accomplish! Balancing it all, along with the new Mom’s sanity is a spectacular fete. But, there is cannabis as a tool for us to leverage and celebrate with. (YES, it can be used for celebration, elevating your positive vibes, recognizing accomplishments and grounding you to persevere). The 4th trimester is a ridiculous bundle of joy and tears. Sleep deprivation is insane.  Breastfeeding deserves a cheer leading squad for success. I am not a scientist, and I am not going to feed you articles to scour for information, that is what google is for. I am going to present the data I gathered from this #cannamom community. Everyone should make their own choice for themselves and their baby.  Since there is a lack of research on the effects of cannabis in general during pregnancy & nursing we count on each other to share our stories of success and tips.
WHO GIVES A F WHAT ANYONE THINKS! But, if you are still not convinced, I will share the information I gathered from the survey of 700 breastfeeding moms, to ensure you do not feel alone.

Cannabis & Breastfeeding Survey:

Breastfeeding is a challenge, but it is a natural process, just like cannabis is a natural medicine. We live in a society that expects a lot of women to keep up with ALL OF LIFE, while also nourishing our babies with our body and it is a lot to try to take on!  Whatever time frame you can or choose to breastfeed, cherish the moments and embrace the bond. It’s such a beautiful process! But, know, it is not without its challenges!
Out of 601 breastfeeding survey respondents these were their biggest challenges:
🛁 62% said not having time for self care
🍽 55% said being tied to the frequency of feedings 
💤 49% said exhaustion from not able to share responsibility of feeding with partner.
Here is some of the additional challenges Moms faced while breastfeeding:
 Kiera Fae - founder of Cannabis and Parenthood (a wonderful website for many resources on cannabis and parenting with the latest studies) gave us some insights along with the below image of her breastfeeding her baby girl. “This photo is so precious to me. It was taken the last time I breastfed. I dried 3 months into breastfeeding. My metabolism is high and I just couldn't consume the calories needed.”
One challenge of the 4th trimester is society’s pressure for our body to bounce back, this can result in not enough calories to establish an adequate milk supply. Accepting our postpartum body as it is and focusing on the adequate nutrition needed to support breastfeeding is critical for success of milk supply! Luckily, Cannabis can also help with this! We discussed above how the Mama's Abundance tea has herbs known to help with milk supply!

Is cannabis use while breastfeeding or is it harmful?

A frequent question that is asked is if it is harmful to use cannabis while breastfeeding. There is not much data on this, and much of the information on the internet drives fear to deter mothers from using cannabis. So, we asked the women in this survey:
Do you believe daily cannabis use while breastfeeding could be harmful to a baby?
When you know the purpose of WHY you are utilizing cannabis, then you can pay attention to how it is helping you.  As a believer in natural wellness I’m 100% for any natural alternative. If cannabis does the same as a medication, I‘d always pick cannabis and almost all the cannamoms surveyed agree! ESPECIALLY WHILE BREASTFEEDING.  Many moms use cannabis as an alternative to SSRI's to treat PPD, depression or for other mental health concerns. 
The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for marijuana, and cannabis resin, to be removed from Schedule IV—the most restrictive category of a 1961 drug convention signed by countries from around the world. This recommendation to change the classification is due to its medical applications. The stigma we continue to fight is from years of illegal recreational use. The stigma is NOT backed by medical claims that cannabis is dangerous! ⠀
Breastfeeding is also NOT dangerous or harmful, the opposite in act. It is surprising that natural, beneficial acts are needing advocacy because they are NOT the norm! ⠀
Is cannabis a good alternative to prescription medications? Would you prefer to use cannabis while breastfeeding over a Rx if they both treat the symptoms similarly? ⠀
Here is one mama, Samantha's journey with cannabis and mental health  @the_canna_parental  “I’ve used cannabis to fight PMDD for the past ten years. I kept using it because I didn’t want to go on SSRI’s. I was “getting high” because I knew it was helping me, but back then I didn’t know why or any of the science. Now, I clearly see that it helps me balance my hormones and slow the racing thoughts in my head. As a mom and wife, it helps me get to a better place mentally to be a better listener, and more patient and understanding. It helps break down my own walls, get out of my head and be more present.”⠀
When using cannabis as a natural medicine, we should still be conscious of how much we are putting into our body. A solid understanding of how THC effects the developing brain and in what quantity is still to be determined. Therefore, when using THC we should use it with intention and in the lowest dose to create the necessary effect. Many women use cannabis to help with pain, anxiety and depression, but CBD dominant hemp flower can be an excellent alternative to still get a solid dose of cannabinoids but with a much lower ratio of THC. You really won't know until you try. It is surprising how much our body and hormones change following childbirth. Numerous mothers are raving about the stress relieving benefits of our CBD flower to help to pair with motherhood.
How frequently did you use cannabis while breastfeeding?
Many people make harsh assumptions or judgements when they lack understanding or when they have only learned from a place of fear. We asked the group of cannamoms about their feelings of being judged for breastfeeding and especially cannabis use while breastfeeding! ⠀

Have YOU ever felt fear, shame or judgement for cannabis use OR breastfeeding? 

We have so much work to overcome the fear, shame and judgement that comes with motherhood and the additional stigma of moms who use cannabis, just adds fuel to the fire. Mom shaming is very common and some of our fear around cannabis use is very valid. As mothers we care most about the safety and well being of our children over anything else and we are all trying our best.
 -Judged for using cannabis while breastfeeding 
 -Fear of child protective services
 -Shamed for not being able or not wanting to breastfeed
 -Judged for feeding in public or extended breastfeeding
 -Shamed for being a #cannamom
99% of moms believe cannabis to be a safe & natural alternative to prescription medications while breastfeeding. 
41% were not concerned about child protective service, 24% were very fearful and 33% were slightly fearful. 
71% felt uncomfortable breastfeeding in public. 
50% felt judged at some point for breastfeeding.
57% were fearful of judgement of others for using cannabis while breastfeeding.
 
I’ve heard so many cannamom breastfeeding stories and some not so lovely interactions with CPS! Doctors (or CPS) have told Moms NOT to breastfeed because they are using cannabis!  Or moms stopping on their own out of fear of the unknown side effects from cannabinoids passing through breast milk.  We KNOW the benefits of breastfeeding and from all the research I have read, the benefits of breastmilk FAR outweigh any risk of the passing through cannabis! 
For as as long as cannabis is federally illegal in the USA, Child Protective Services is a valid concern. Please use caution in consuming and if necessary maintain the level of discretion needed to keep your family safe. 

How long to breastfeed for?

74% of #cannamoms surveyed continued to breastfeeed beyond 6 months! This is higher than the norm in the USA which is 57% who make it to 6 months. Most moms who breastfeed beyond 6 months are over 30.
I came across one Mama, @hotmamashida who is featured here that shared her inspiring thoughts on breastfeeding: 
“I’m considered an older mother. I had my first son at 33, my second son at 40, and I just had my first daughter at 45. The beauty of this is that I’m firmer in my beliefs about parenting and how that looks for my family. Breastfeeding has been essential for all three kids, even when I get dirty looks for doing it, uncovered, in public, wherever my child needs to be fed. But cannabis has also been essential. It helped me during pregnancy (at the suggestion of my midwife) to manage nausea, sickness, and my blood pressure, and it continues to help me manage stress and keep my spirit balanced in these immensely stressful times. I am a proud mother breastfeeding CannaMama and always will be!”
Here is another personal story of mine:
I was always confident publicly in my decision to extended breastfeed, but as my son got older the question kept coming: when was I going to wean? Which got me thinking...HOW was I going to wean?
When my son was 2.5 years, I got shingles. At my age it’s usually stress induced & lack of sleep (which makes sense considering I had not had a night of uninterrupted sleep for more than 4 hours in over 3 years). I used cannabis occasionally through my earlier breastfeeding, but if I had the knowledge I have now, I could have been much more strategic to better treat my anxiety and manage stress. I now use Society CBD flower everyday through out the day to manage my anxiety. I prefer Boax Spectrum and Rocket Fuel as my two favorite strains.

Weaning:

WHY is no one talking about the challenges of weaning? Some kids naturally wean, but if they don’t... ohhhh, it’s a treat! I tried a few gentle weaning techniques for 6 months with no success. Maybe I just wasn’t ready yet. In these attempts, cannabis helped me to have patience and remain calm to battle a habitual zombie milk customer in the middle of their night’s sleep, which is no small feat and not for the faint of heart. It took wasn't until my son was 3.25years and we were spending a month in Bali with my son sleeping with my mom every night to finally break the habit. Even knowing how hard it was, I would not have stopped any sooner. This age felt right to me. I would appreciate more support or even fair warning of this challenge! New mission: veteran breastfeeders need help too!

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We need to SHIFT our conversations with and about moms to a place of compassion, empathy, love and support. When we support and cheer on moms around us, we lift the experience we are attracting to ourselves as well.   We remind them (sometimes in their darkest hour) that what they are doing MATTERS, and will affect generations to come as we shape the world in which we want to live and THRIVE.
How did we get so removed from what nature intended… there was a rise in female empowerment in the last century where women entered the male dominated workforce, women were empowered to take control of their life and were no longer forced to stay at home with the kids. With this rise in equality came the need to fit in with a male dominated society. In this shift we lost our roots of what it means to be a FEMALE human: to HONOR our ability to reproduce, empower our intrinsic ability to nurture and celebrate our natural rights of motherhood! ⠀
How do we normalize breastfeeding and step back into our power to openly give nourishment to our young?
How do we break the stigma of moms using cannabis along with that ability to breastfeed? ⠀
Here are some ideas...⠀
♥ Breastfeed in public (there is no shame in feeding your baby)⠀
♥ Take/post a brelfie (breastfeeding-selfie)⠀
♥ Share your mindful cannabis use motherhood journey with friends or on social media⠀
♥ Celebrate breastfeeding moms by sending them love, support and information like this article⠀
 

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