In the 5 years I have been practising as a midwife, many women have asked my advice on how to have the best possible pregnancy, labour and birth.
Common-sense tells the intelligent lady the answer: drink lots of clean water, eat plenty of fresh, nutritious food, get regular exercise, and keep calm, balanced, and centered. These conditions provide the ideal environment for the growth of a beautiful child, and contribute to an excellent chance for a natural, healthy birth.
Most women know they should avoid drugs in general, as well as additives, chemicals, cleaners, etc. But what about pot? Where does the marijuana herb fit in to pregnancy?
Pot can be safely used during pregnancy, and can help with several of the discomforts/problems associated therewith ? a fact little known by the medical community, and even much of the herbalist community.
Pot for nausea
Many women find out they are pregnant when they start to throw up in the morning, or any time at all. The nausea invades and takes over so completely, that some women give in to it, and are not able to eat or drink anything at all. In extreme cases they are put on intravenous feeding for the duration of their pregnancies.
Other women turn to drugs to quell the waves of nausea that threaten them constantly during the first months, or even the whole nine! With nausea that bad, anything is worth a try. That is how the thalidomide disaster happened ? it was touted as an anti-nausea drug, pregnant women scooped it up and then had deformed babies as a result.
Instead of dangerous pharmaceuticals, surely it is worth trying a natural herb that has never harmed anyone. From the reports of my clients, friends, and contacts on the internet, using marijuana has helped women with severe morning-sickness to overcome the terrible problem. In fact, I have not heard of anyone who has tried it say that it has not worked for them.
Cannabis the balance bringer
The many different active ingredients contained in the cannabis plant work together to put the female reproductive system in sync with the other glands and organs of the body. This is defined in the herbal textbooks as a “female corrective ? an emmenogogue herb”. These types of herbs are special friends to women, because they bring the feminine reproductive system into the correct balance, which definitely helps her pregnancy, and state of mind in general.
Ladies who are out of sync have lots of emotional upsets too, because the hormones are battling instead of complimenting one another. Just a couple of puffs of cannabis, and those emotions are under control, the mother-to-be happy and smiling.
Food & Love
Pregnant women need to eat quite often to feed their babies. Most women these days do not eat enough food, and that is the biggest cause of low birth weight babies. Many infants are malnourished in the womb, as their mothers are busy, fearful of gaining weight, and not knowledgable about nutrition and its importance to their growing babe. Stopping to take a few puffs, relax, and have a snack is one of the best things they can do, as long as the snack is fruits and veggies and whole grains, not twinkies and big macs.
Cannabis can help to take the focus off of the outside world and place it right in the centre of what’s going on in the body now. This means that the sensitivity to every little flutter and kick can be even more intense, the connection to what’s going on with the baby more aware and in tune.
Cannabis is also a great help to the expectant couple, to keep them bonded and lighten some moments that might otherwise be stressful and strain their relationship. I suggest that if they are drifting into an argument, tired, or cranky with aching muscles: just have a few puffs together, rub each other out (body massage) get some yummy aromatherapy going, have some good sex, then a good night’s sleep. Everyone will feel better in the morning, guaranteed.
A smoking labour?
Many clients, friends and neighbors have called or written to ask about using pot in labour ? good idea or bad?
The truth is: usually bad. Labour is like running a marathon ? you need all your physical resources, plus the ones you never knew you had. Most of you know that pot is not something that enhances performance where physical exertion is demanded. This is also the case with labour.
The other important reason not to indulge while in labour is that getting high intensifies the sensations felt by the body. If those sensations are painful and too much cannabis is taken, the contractions can become so intensified that the woman is almost overwhelmed by the pain, shaking and trembling. I’ve seen it happen.
On the other hand, there is a situation during labour that cannabis helps. Here’s how:
The way to help labour go smoothly is to stay relaxed and keep the energy level up with easily utilized foods and drink.
Yet there is a certain type of woman who is anything but relaxed, and as labour progresses, instead of “getting into her body”, she almost leaves it, or wishes she could. She stalls her labour, not allowing it to happen to her on a subconcious level. It’s a self-defense mechanism: labor hurts, so she’s not going to let it happen.
This type of refusal to go-with-the-flow can often be cured instantly and miraculously by just one puff of quality pot. Only a small amount is needed to make the mind-body connection, and no more. In tincture form take three to five drops under the tongue. The lady does not get too high and tired, but gets into her body and its task, enabling her to work with it to affect the birth of her child.
An admission of harmlessness
Marijuana has many uses, and is a special friend to women in their times of need. Used carefully and properly, this good herb is a blessing, and nothing to fear at all.
In the 1983 medical textbook Handbook of Maternal Newborn Nursing the “drugs of abuse during pregnancy” are listed, with the complications they cause. Next to cannabis, it says: “None known”. Small print, but yet another admission of harmlessness.
We knew it already, didn’t we?
Joint, Tea or Tincture?
Marijuana can be smoked, eaten, or taken in tincture form. The quickest acting is the smoked, often with only a couple of puffs necessary to ease pain or quell nausea. Tincture enters the blood stream from the many blood vessels in and around the stomach, so it is quite quick, but less immediate than smoking. Eating a brownie takes the longest to come into full bloom, but should last longer too.
A drawback to eating is the tendency to get too stoned, because the brownies or whatever are so yummy that you can’t eat just one. Next thing you know, colours are melting, husband talking in numbers…
Dr Kate can be reached by email at: [email protected].