As some mothers-to-be search for alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs and epidurals to get them through the pains of labour, one recent trend is weeding its way into conversation. Are you expecting? Holistic options to help with labour pain are becoming more common, and CBD oil is a plant extract some expecting mothers are trialling.
Don’t use CBD oil for pregnancy and labour pains, warns MUHC doctor
MONTREAL — As some mothers-to-be search for alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs and epidurals to get them through the pains of labour, one recent trend is weeding its way into conversation.
With marijuana-derived products hitting the (legal) market in recent years, experts say pregnant women are increasingly musing over the possibility of using cannabidiol (CBD) to relieve anxiety around the big day, and potentially even quell the torment of active contractions.
“In humans, we have to be very, very careful about using it, in particular in pregnancy,” said Gabriella Gobbi, professor of psychiatry at McGill University and senior scientist at the Research Institute of the MUHC (RI-MUHC). “We don’t know the real effects of cannabidiol. We don’t know the right dosage that is safe for women or that can eventually pass to the baby.”
CBD, one of the active ingredients in marijuana plants, has often been touted as a natural alternative to relieve pain, anxiety and other disorders. Unlike its brother component, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), experts say it does not give consumers the feeling of being high.
“We know that THC should be avoided in pregnancy because it can lead to cognitive or behavioural consequences for the fetus or lead to preterm birth,” she said. “The cannabidiol that you buy still contains a certain percentage of THC. It’s very difficult to find a pure, 100 per cent cannabidiol.”
Gobbi notes there is a lot of ongoing research on CBD and its ability to curb pain in animals, but there isn’t enough concrete scientific evidence that proves it works the same way for humans.
Though some advocates suggest CBD and hemp have been used for centuries in countries like India and Tibet – as well as by Vikings and medieval Germans – to naturally induce labour and ease pain, Gobbi insists there is no modern proof that it is safe for baby.
“It’s difficult to say for women how much you can take, for how long, the dosage that can harm your baby or that you could eventually take,” Gobbi told CTV News. “We have to know if it’s dangerous for the fetus, for the baby.”
BIG RISKS FOR MUM AND BABY
Currently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “strongly advises” against the use of any marijuana products during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
“Based on what we do know, there is significant cause for concern,” the agency argues. “High doses of CBD in pregnant test animals have caused problems with the reproductive system of developing male fetuses.”
The FDA notes CBD can also be transferred to babies directly through breastmilk.
“We especially want to learn more about the effects of CBD during pregnancy and while breastfeeding,” the FDA states. “For example, whether, and to what extent, the presence of CBD in human milk harms the breastfed baby or the mother’s milk production.”
On its end, the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) tells CTV News it sells its goods purely for “recreational” purposes and therefore doesn’t have any data or information on whether pregnant women are using its products.
Can You Take CBD Oil for Labour Pain?
Are you expecting and hoping to opt for a natural birth? Holistic options have become more widely available in recent years. And, many women don’t want to rely on traditional pain relief anymore. What is the role of CBD oil for labour pain relief? We explore the facts about CBD oil during labour.
Labour pain is widely agreed to be one of the worst pains a person can experience. While traditional medicine, such as epidurals and C-sections, have made significant scientific gains when it comes to aiding birth, many women now prefer a more holistic approach. The dream of a natural birth has long been a tantalizing ideal sold to pregnant women. Especially for those who want to avoid invasive medical procedures and ingesting high levels of pharmaceutical drugs.
From Hypno-births to birthing pools, there is a vast range of holistic labour aids available. But what about an alternative pain relief? In their search for a pain-free birth, some women have turned to CBD to help with pregnancy, labour, and post-natal issues, such as pain while breastfeeding. So, is it useful to use CBD oil for labour pain? Expectant mothers read on – the answers may surprise you!
Why CBD Oil for labour pain?
CBD oil is a plant compound extracted from the hemp or cannabis plant. Not to be confused with THC, which has hallucinatory effects, CBD oil is mostly a muscle relaxant. Also, it can also cause feelings of mild euphoria and drowsiness. While it is widely recommended that pregnant women should not smoke cannabis, some pregnant women take small amounts of CBD oil. This is to take the edge off morning sickness, muscle aches, and breast pain. There are so many products to choose from, too. Pick from CBD tinctures, CBD massage oils, bath bombs or essential oils and more.
CBD oil in early labour
Some women take CBD oil for labour pain right from the start. Now, there are many different labour pain types. It is common for women to experience low level cramping in their back and uterus as their labour begins, for example. If you’re wondering how labour pain starts, many women liken the cramps to menstrual cramps. This usually signals the beginning of the birthing process. Small doses of CBD oil for labour pain may be useful at this stage. It could ease these early contractions without slowing down the progress of labour. Warm baths are already recommended to women in early labour. Hence, a CBD oil bath bomb or bubble bath could work wonders here.
CBD oil as a natural relief medication
As labour pain symptoms increase, many women experience severe cramps and intense muscle contractions. It might seem radical to use CBD oil for labour pain relief up to the point of delivery. However, historically speaking this is not so strange. Hemp products have been used for centuries in Middle Eastern and Chinese cultures to help women through labour. Traditional medical pain reliefs like epidurals, numb the lower part of the body through an injection of nerve-blocking drugs into the spine. Epidurals are safe and effective, but many women find the prospect of the massive injection daunting. Furthermore, as labour progresses, women can struggle to push the baby out if the muscles of their lower body are numb, and this can increase the likelihood of needing a C-section. For this reason, many women wish to avoid epidurals and opt for natural pain relief instead.
Is CBD oil safe during labour?
Current FDA regulations do not advocate the use of CBD oil during pregnancy or the use of CBD oil for labour pain relief. Concerns over high doses of CBD, leading to potential fetal developmental problems circulate within the medical community, but there is currently little conclusive evidence in this field. Doctors advise that your baby will also ingest CBD products if consumed during pregnancy. It also remains in your system for several days after use so, during breastfeeding any CBD will be present in breast milk. However, doctors do prescribe cannabis medically for several other chronic pain and muscular conditions. There is no significant evidence that the compound is harmful to expectant mothers.
When selecting CBD products online, ensure you choose a reputable source and do not take products that contain THC. Remember, if you’re thinking of taking CBD oil for labour pain relief, consult your doctor or midwife before use and do what works best for you! A happy mama means a happy baby!
Try a CBD oil today
If you are thinking about trying CBD oil, and you’ve spoken to your doctor, always try a high quality product. We recommend the Love Hemp 1200mg CBD Oil to start. Why? Love Hemp oil is the largest CBD brand in the UK and is among the most trusted. Its products are of course THC free (we check the lab reports). This product also comes in spray format, in case the dropper isn’t for you. And there are multiple flavours to choose from. The most popular is fresh peppermint.
Try taking at a small dose for 4 weeks at least. Gradually raise your dose until you start feeling its balancing effect. Note the UK recommendation is not to exceed 70 mg of CBD per day. And remember, speak to a doctor about your CBD plans for the ultimate reassurance.
Author’s Bio: Rae Hudson is a mommy blogger and lifestyle coach from Ireland who specializes in holistic post-natal care. When she isn’t writing or helping new mamas, Rae loves to bake, cycle, and explore natural spaces with her family of five and her giant Irish Wolf Hound.