We’re learning more every day about the benefits of cannabis. And while it’s generally accepted that this plant can help people battling cancer and struggling with other debilitating and chronic conditions, things get trickier when you start talking about PPD. Cannabis, mental health, and women’s issues make for a volatile combination.
That’s why I decided to share my story with Good Housekeeping. Though we’re dealing with a bundle of inappropriately stigmatized topics, it wasn’t so scary with two amazingly brave mamas – Celia Behar of The Lil’ Mamas and Samantha Montanaro of Prism House PDX and Tokeativity – beside me and a wonderfully sensitive writer guiding the process. Thank you for bringing this conversation to the mainstream, Sarah Yahr Tucker!
I choose to be open about my postpartum cannabis use because plant medicine helps. Because cannabis heals, and I am proof of that. Because I am in a relatively safe position from which to speak, a privilege many still don’t have. I intend to use that privilege to help the countless women, children, and families who might benefit from cannabis. Those of us who can must share our experiences and pave the way for others; it’s urgent that we keep this dialogue going.
I Smoked Weed to Help My PPD — And I Want Other Moms to Do the Same
Jenn Lauder, an Oregon mom who has used cannabis to treat anxiety and depression for 16 years, is one of the few mothers unafraid to be open about the drug. While she did not smoke during her pregnancy in 2007, Lauder’s mental health history made her highly aware that she might suffer from PPD. Then living in Maryland where medical marijuana was illegal (the law changed in 2014), Lauder developed a plan with her midwife that included using small amounts of cannabis very soon after giving birth.
Lauder knew that the chaotic early months of parenthood would heighten her tendency to become overwhelmed, anxious and emotionally shut down. She also knew that pharmaceutical drugs would not be the answer, since in the past, they had made her feel dulled and disconnected. As a new mom, Lauder says cannabis, along with yoga and meditation, helped her interrupt the “feedback loop” of anxiety and spiraling thoughts.
Keep reading on Good Housekeeping!