Pregnant / Breastfeeding

Use the Marijuana and Your Baby factsheet for information about the risks of marijuana use during pregnancy and breastfeeding, including health effects, legal issues, safety and available resources.

Can I use marijuana while I am pregnant?

Marijuana is now legal for adults over 21. But this doesn't mean it is safe for pregnant moms or babies. Using marijuana while pregnant or breastfeeding may harm your baby. THC, the chemical in marijuana that makes a person “high,” can pass from mother to unborn child through the placenta.1 Marijuana that passes to your baby during pregnancy 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.1

Smoking marijuana has the added risk to the mother and baby of harmful smoke exposure. However using marijuana in edible or vaporized form still exposes the baby to THC. There is no known safe amount of marijuana use during pregnancy.1 

Some hospitals test babies after birth for drugs. If your baby tests positive for THC at birth, Colorado law says child protective services must be notified. Talk to your doctor early in your pregnancy about any marijuana use.

If you are pregnant and need help to stop using marijuana, talk to your health care provider, use the resources on this website or call 1-800-CHILDREN for more information.

Can I use marijuana while I am breastfeeding?

Marijuana exposure while breastfeeding is not recommended. When a breastfeeding mother uses marijuana, THC passes through the breast milk to the baby, potentially affecting the baby.1 THC is stored in the body in fat and remains in the body for a long time. It is not known exactly how long THC remains in the breast milk after marijuana use.1 This means that "pumping and dumping" your breast milk may not work the same way it does with alcohol. Alcohol is not stored in fat so it leaves your body faster. Because of the potential risks to the baby, the American Academy of Pediatrics states that marijuana should not be used while breastfeeding.23

If you would like to breastfeed or are breastfeeding and need help to stop using marijuana, talk to your health care provider, use the resources on this website or call 1-800-CHILDREN for more information.

Additional Resources