Breastfeeding PostPartum Depression & CBD Oil

Postpartum depression can occur following a normal healthy labor and delivery.

Postpartum depression can also occur following a traumatizing vaginal delivery, cesarean section, stillbirth or miscarriage. The weight of motherhood impacted by a complicated or traumatizing labor birth or postpartum period can become unmanageable.

About 14% of new mothers suffer from postpartum depression (PPD), per the American Psychological Association. However, a majority of women defer treatment. In addition, postpartum depression is 60% higher amongst African American women.Postpartum Depression occurs in about 14% of moms but most go unreported and of those, less then half receive attention, therapy, or medication. Reasons for this disparity on behalf of the health professional may include, inexperience, under-treatment, neglect and/or poor screening tools. Other reasons on behalf of the patients, may include shame, guilt, fear and denial.

CBD oil, Cannabidiol, is a better solution while struggling with anxiety disorders as well as postpartum depression. CBD oil is a more suitable supplemental therapy for postpartum depression as it has significantly less side effects then the recommended antidepressants some of which may include addictive opioid medications. Opioid drugs can cause significant respiratory depression, myocardial infarction (heart attack), and can also cause seizures.

CBD offers greater bioavailability; this means it is much more therapeutically available. CBD oil is a shorter acting supplement versus the conventional anti-depressants that require several weeks of compliance before reaching a therapeutic level.

Most of the recommended anti anxiety/depressant medications have significant side effects that directly impact medication compliance. Some of those side effects include insomnia, dry mouth, dizziness, blurred vision, and weight gain. Severe side effects can directly impact a new mom’s capacity to bond with her newborn. Lack of bonding can ultimately impact a child’s psychological development and lead to a higher risk of psychiatric illness later in life. In addition, these side effects can further intensify the depth of depression leading to a more stressful experience. Responsibilities now become extremely challenging physically and emotionally particularly when there is lack of sleep. Insomnia, or lack of sleep, leads to lack of energy, attention, motivation, or desire to care for her newborn child. This lack of connection is more of a risk for mom and newborn then the unknown effects or lack of research on unknown CBD effects to the newborn.

Postpartum depression can create a debilitating cycle-a chaotic web of paralysis.

What we know:

  • Cannabinoids are found naturally in human breast milk and are necessary for physiologic homeostasis (balance) and human development. They are also responsible for suckling (swallowing process) which occurs during breast or bottle feeding.  In addition, the cannabinoid system can be found in a newly developing fetus & is present from the early stages of a baby’s development even when it is only comprised of two cells.
  • Cannabidiol works on serotonin, the neurotransmitter associated with depressed moods. The oil enhances the availability of serotonin and helps the brain utilize serotonin better.
  • CBD increases the availability of GABA a neurotransmitter that helps calm the body.
  • CBD enhances the role of Anandamide a neurotransmitter that exhibits feelings of euphoria and plays a role in appetite, pain & memory.
  • One study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology actually found that CBD was associated with significantly decreased subjective anxiety.
  • The proven neuro-protective properties of cannabidiol has lead to the use of CBD for protracted seizures in children. CBD is now regularly prescribed for children with these types of seizures with very little known side effects. Epidiolex, is a synthetic CBD product made by GW Pharmeceuticals. Epidiolex, is the first Cannabis based drug approved by the FDA approved for children at two years of age.
  • The US government, according to the National Institute of Health, in a patent, has declared that the cannabis plant is known to have significant antioxidant and neuro-protective properties. These neuro-protective properties contribute to neurogenesis- brain cell development.
  • Dr. Titus, Ph. D. cofounder and President of General Hemp, cannabis industry icon and innovator, believes, and as studies have shown, that a cannabinoid-rich diet would help support both a pregnant mom and her baby.
  • CBD oil is appears to be an effective health supplement for everyone, including our children.

Children are our babies. Babies are our children.

By Sakina O’Uhuru RN CNM MS


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