An image of a Mother breastfeeding while smoking marijuana has been the latest reason for outrage on the internet. The woman in question is a young mother called Kayla Marlowe from Portland, Oregon where marijuana is legally used for recreational purposes.

A snap of her surfaced where she is leaning in and nursing an infant, who is feeding from her breast while a friend helps her to light a bong to smoke. This image was posted by Kayla in one of the groups called CannaParentingSupport.V.420. Marlowe received words of encouragement and support by like-minded people along with a massive amount of criticism from those who were outraged by her action.

The criticism got so bad that both Kayla and her friend had to delete their social media accounts.

Why the outrage?

Cannabis is known to contain a chemical compound called THC, which can find its way to the lactating mother’s breast milk. A breastfeeding baby’s body and brain may store the compound, which may cause numerous health issues in the long run. THC is known for causing slow mental development by affecting the brain in a human. Hence, it is suggested that if you are pregnant or nursing, you should desist from using marijuana.

If the baby is in the same room where someone is smoking cannabis and the child inhales the smoke, then it may lead to a contact high. Studies have proven that inhaling second-hand marijuana smoke can damage a person’s heart and blood vessels.

There are various activist groups that support the smoking of cannabis during pregnancy or while nursing a child. They believe that the new mothers should have the choice to choose cannabis over other pharmaceutical medicines as the safer alternative. This seems to be the new phenomenon where mothers are posing with their newborn either smoking from a bong, a vaporiser, or a joint.

Detrimental effects of marijuana

Major medical bodies and institutes are condemning this practice, claiming its effects are harmful. Cannabis is known to have an adverse effect on teens and adults. One can only imagine how it affects an infant. Some studies suggest that children exposed to the drug in the uterus may have slight impairment in higher cognitive processes such as perceptual organization and planning. Smoking during pregnancy has constantly been linked to lower birth-weight babies and pre-term birth. However, it doesn’t seem to increase the risk of miscarriage or birth abnormality.