Substances and Substance Dependency
Nursing Your BEST
Substance Misuse Doesn’t Mean Stopping Nursing.
The circumstances are different for each parent.
Different substances carry different risks to infants when passed into human milk. It is important to discuss any substances, including alcohol and tobacco, used during pregnancy. Based on the substance, some birth places have guidelines to determine how safe it might be for an infant to nurse.
Many parents use marijuana for nausea and discomfort during pregnancy, which could put an infant at higher risk for challenges at birth and beyond. Download this Marijuana Information Sheet from the NM Department of Health.
When a parent uses a substance during pregnancy, even when enrolled in a recovery program, it can impact an infant after birth, including possible withdrawal, known as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) also known as NOWS (Neonatal Opioid Withdrawal Syndrome). Often, nursing an infant experiencing NAS/NOWS can help an infant during this delicate time.